Great Reads for Mom & Baby

It’s never too early to start reading with your baby. Reading aloud to your infant is an important way to teach communication, introduce beginning concepts, and lay the foundation for learning vocabulary. Reading together builds the bond between you and baby and sets the stage for a lifetime of sharing stories. When you cuddle with your little one and read together, over time your baby will associate books with love and closeness. Here are 7 great reads for you and your baby to share.

Ten Tiny Toes by Caroline Jayne Church is a playful rhyming story that begs you to cuddle your baby closer. A play on the song “Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes,” the book can be sung to the familiar tune or melodically read. Each page mentions a different part, like ears that wiggle and bellies that giggle, which can be pointed out on your baby as you read along. Build body awareness concepts as you hold your baby close and point out her own tiny toes.

Hello Ocean Friends by Violet Lemay is a stunning high-contrast book to share with your baby. The simple language leaves plenty of room for your own storytelling, if you’re up for improvising, or simply a pause for baby to absorb the black-and-white contrast of the pictures. Let your baby linger over the shapes, designs, and animal illustrations as you hug him close.

If Animals Kissed Goodnight by Ann Whitford Paul is a new bedtime classic. It’s gentle rhyming prose is certain to lull your baby while also telling a sweet story about animals saying goodnight to their family. Point to the illustrations as you say the animal names to develop her vocabulary, and give your baby a kiss every time the animals say goodnight in the book.

My World My Words: A Toddler’s First Words Board Book by Marie Fordacq introduces babies to beginner vocabulary words without forfeiting a cute story. While this book reinforces the language you use all day with your baby, its story will keep you both engaged. The book follows Bobby through his entire day, from waking to nighttime kisses and the retro illustrations are lovely to linger over while your baby nestles in your lap.

How Does Baby Feel? by Karen Katz is a lift-the-flap book that introduces your baby to emotions. Discussing emotions is beneficial for your baby, even when they’re at their tiniest. As your infant grows, conversations around feelings can expand and you’ll have the building blocks in place with a book like this. The bright illustrations are simple enough for small babies to examine and playful enough for older babies to enjoy, as well.

Peek a Who? by Nina Laden is the perfect book to read to share a giggle with your baby. It’s rhyming text will keep an infant engrossed, but the book holds a surprise ending that will still delight your baby after repeat readings. Each page holds a die-cut window which gives a peek at the next beautifully illustrated rhyme, building anticipation to see what comes next.

The Opposite Zoo by Il Sung Na is a gorgeous book to share when your baby is alert and absorbed in the world. The delightful story follows a monkey whose cage is open when the zoo is closed and explores the opposites of the zoo: big and small, noisy and quiet, fast and slow. Point out the different animals and colors in the lovely illustrations as a way to “converse” with your baby and stay snuggled together a bit longer.