The Best Books for Infants

The Best Books for InfantsLike breastfeeding, reading to children is one of the most important things you can do for their development.  Reading not only fosters a later love for reading, language development and interest in knowledge, but also allows you and your tot to spend precious time together.  This bond over books can begin as soon as your baby is born.  Don’t wait until later in infancy to begin a regular reading routine.  Your little one will benefit from hearing your voice and words, even if she cannot understand them.  Early infancy is the time when babies learn to recognize their native language and even pick up on the cadence of conversations and stories, as well as accents.

When your baby is a newborn, it doesn’t matter what you read because, as we already established, she doesn’t even know what you’re saying yet.  It’s more about exposure to words.  So feel free to read the newspaper or your favorite novel to your baby – she won’t know Shakespeare from Mother Goose.  Sneak in an enthusiastic tone once in awhile and you’re all set.

As your baby becomes more aware and can focus on pictures, you’ll want to accumulate some books with age-appropriate content.  Board books, colorful picture books, lift-the-flap books, pop-up books and sound chip books are all terrific choices for infants.  As for content, we have a few suggestions to begin your infant reading list:

The-Very-Hungrey-Caterpillar-by-ERic-Carle1The Very Hungry Caterpillar (by Eric Carle) – With bright, beautiful pictures and simple text, this story of metamorphosis is a great first Earth science lesson for babies.

Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? (by Eric Carle) – Another Eric Carle classic, this is a terrific introduction to colors and animals with a familiar mother/baby theme.

Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes (by Mem Fox) – Counting, rhyming and a global message are all part of this sweetly penned relatable story about babies around the world.

Mommies Say Shhhh! (by Patricia Polacco) – Animal sounds may be some of the first “words” your baby will say and this book has them all, including comforting words from mothers.

peekaboo bedtimePeekaboo Bedtime (by Rachel Isadora) – Everyone has a bedtime routine and this playful toddler makes his very fun as he sneakily says goodnight to his family and home.

Farm (by James Brown) – Another animal favorite, this book features several versions of  images of the same animals that will pique the interest of babies whose developing eyes best see in contrast.

The Poky Little Puppy (by Janette Sebring Lowry) – As one of the most popular Golden Books of all time, this classic tale of a curious puppy is heart-warming across generations.

Toot! (by Leslie Patricelli) – Potty training may be far away, but teaching your baby about natural bodily functions and sounds in a fun and silly way is a lesson they can grasp.

goodnight moonGoodnight Moon (by Margaret Wise Brown) – Another beloved classic, this simple story about saying goodnight will evolve with your baby as she’ll learn to point to objects and probably eventually memorize the text.

We hope you and your baby find hours of pleasure reading together.  Remember, there is no need to buy every book on our reading list.  In fact, bringing your baby to the library to check out books is a great activity, and you can start teaching your little one about the wonderful treasure your local library can be.  Plus, many libraries offer free story times, another excellent outing for your infant.

Happy Reading!