17 Books Every Parent Should Read Their Baby Before They Turn 1
You already know that reading to your children is important for their development, but when you have a tiny newborn or a baby that's only a few months old, it feels like teaching them to sleep and memorizing their feeding schedule is more important. I totally understand, but there are some books every parent should read their baby before they turn one.
I know, you're thinking that your baby has no idea what's going on and spends most of their time focusing on pooping, so why are there specific books to read to them? According to PBS, babies from birth to six months old are soothed by the rhythmic reading of stories or lullabies. And babies from six months old to a year start to become more interested in the actual story, pictures, and being introduced to objects. Parents also notes that babies younger than six months appreciate high-contrast picture books with little to no text. At that age, it's more about bonding with you and listening to you read. But once babies hit six months, they begin to recognize illustrations as objects and reading helps reinforce their vocabulary. They also enjoy books with one major character or object to focus on.
And reading to your baby before they're 1 means you get the opportunity to share some of your favorites before they're interested in reading nothing but Elmo and Mickey Mouse stories. So pull out that rocking chair and make sure you're sharing these 17 books with your babe before they turn one.
1. 'Goodnight Moon' by Margaret Wise Brown
Goodnight Moon is the ultimate children's classic, but it's perfect for even the tiniest of newborns. The words are sweet, the sentences are short, and babies will love looking at the gorgeous illustrations. I used to read this to my newborn every night and it's still one of her favorites.
2. 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle
Full of gorgeous, bright illustrations and some educational references, like the days of the week and counting, your baby will soak up every bit of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
3. 'The Going To Bed Book' by Sandra Boynton
Nobody does silly like Sandra Boynton and while your little one may not understand the fun of The Going To Bed Book, they'll love the illustrations and it can hopefully set them up for a lifetime of going to bed without hassle. (HA. Yeah right.)
4. 'First 100 Words' by Roger Priddy
There's no plot, but First 100 Words is a great picture book for babies. Introduce them to typical objects around the house, words perfect for their future vocabulary, and lots of animals. My daughter still loves flipping this open to point at things and ask what they are, or tell us that everything is a dog.
5. 'The Wonderful Things You Will Be' by Emily Winfield Martin
You're already dreaming of all the things your baby will be one day, so share The Wonderful Things You Will Be with them as soon as you can. The book is so lovely and will make you want to cry, but it's also the perfect thing to read to your brand-new baby.
6. 'Pat The Bunny' by Dorothy Kunhardt
Touch and feel books are so great for babies, and Pat the Bunny has been a classic forever. Because babies love experiencing textures and touching all the things, you'll get to enjoy reading to them while they enjoy all of the new sensations in the book.
7. 'Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA' by Jimmy Fallon
Incredibly simple with minimal words and lots of illustrations, Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA is a must for babies. Also, you will totally laugh thinking of your own fight to get your child to say MAMA first.
8. 'Go The F**k To Sleep' by Adam Mansbach
Because you've uttered that sentence at least once in your motherhood journey already, so you might as well read Go the F**k to Sleep to your darling baby. Plus, it's the only time you can say the f-word without them repeating it, so take advantage of babyhood.
9. 'Where The Wild Things Are' by Maurice Sendak
I think Where the Wild Things Are has to be introduced as soon as possible, which is why it's making this list. It's going to be a classic and a favorite for your kiddo, I promise.
10. 'Whistle For Willie' by Ezra Jack Keates
One of my favorite children's book authors is Ezra Jack Keates, so all of his books should make their way into your baby's collection. But Whistle for Willie is especially perfect for tiny babies because the illustrations are out of this world and the colors seriously pop.
11. 'Madeline' by Ludwig Bemelmans
Another series to make your children love? Madeline. With seriously lovely illustrations and fun, rhyming text, all babies need to hear this sweet story. And as they grow and understand the plot and characters, they'll love it even more.
12. 'On The Night You Were Born' by Nancy Tillman
Not that you'll ever forget the night of your baby's birth, but those emotions are still very fresh in the first year which is why On the Night You Were Born is so lovely. Try not to cry all over your baby's head as you read about the entire world celebrating for your little one's birth.
13. 'Where's Spot?' by Eric Hill
Babies aren't known for sitting through an entire novel, but they do love interactive books like Where's Spot? It's a great way to introduce their curious selves to a world meant for them, with flaps to lift while they search for sweet Spot.
14. 'Guess How Much I Love You' by Sam McBratney
It's such a darling story, and Guess How Much I Love You will make you just as happy as it does your baby. It will also totally make you cry all over the place.
15. 'What A Wonderful World' by Bob Thiele & George David Weiss
Because your baby needs to be introduced to the incredible Louis Armstrong, your singing voice, and the gorgeous illustrations in What a Wonderful World. That's why this book is a must, OK?
16. 'The Tale Of Peter Rabbit' by Beatrix Potter
For the perfect introduction to the world of Beatrix Potter, pick up The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Beautiful illustrations and available in a board book version means your baby can enjoy it far into their toddler years.
17. 'My First Winnie-The-Pooh' By A. A. Milne
The stories of Winnie-the-Pooh can be long and heavy for a baby, but with My First Winnie-the-Pooh, they're getting to read ten lovely verses picked especially for the tiniest readers.