Best Baby Books: Top 5 Titles Most Recommended By Experts

Getting ready to welcome a new baby into the household can definitely feel overwhelming. From making sure the nursery is ready to having the right crib and stroller, there’s a litany of things every parent needs to check off the list. But one of the most reassuring and precious times with your baby is reading to them. That’s why StudyFinds searched experts’ recommendations to come up with a list of the best baby books to read.

It’s always good to start reading to babies early. In fact, a recent study reveals it can help with their language development. Researchers from Marshall University say reading to your newborn could advance their language skills. Their study finds language scores among infants improve when parents read them stories every day before their first birthday.

Not only can reading to a baby enhance their language development, but it can expose them to more words than the average child. A recent Ohio State University study found that reading five books a day to your children exposes them to about 1.4 million more words by kindergarten than those children who did not have books read to them. Even if parents read just one book a day, that still offers children the chance to hear about 290,000 more words by the time they reach kindergarten than if they never had story time.

Time to start stocking the nursery shelves? StudyFinds has compiled a list of the top five best baby books every parent needs. Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

Parents reading a parenting book
Parents reading a book to their baby (Photo by Ground Picture on Shutterstock)

The List: Best Baby Books, According to Experts

 

1. “Baby Touch and Feel” Series by DK

Topping the list of best baby books is the “Baby Touch and Feel” series. Barnes & Noble recommends “Baby Touch and Feel: Animals.” “With the high-quality photographs [author] DK is known for and touch-and-feel elements like fur and bumps, this book is engaging for new readers and anyone who learns through touch. And don’t bunnies make anything better? Even spit up at midnight?”

"Baby Touch and Feel: Animals"
“Baby Touch and Feel: Animals”

Forbes says the realistic pictures and simple words makes “Baby Touch and Feel: Trucks” a “hit with babies.” “This touch and feel book with plenty of trucks keeps each single page streamlined, making it easy for baby to focus.”

Mother & Baby notes “Baby Touch and Feel” books are excellent for sensory development. This title is by the author Ladybird, but is the same premise for your baby to discover new textures. “The Baby Touch: Seasons book helps to boost motor skills and teaches your little one all about the four seasons, using bright and colourful interactions.”

2. “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin & Eric Carle

The Gentle Nursery recommends “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” for babies up to one year of age. “On each page, we meet a new animal that describes what they see: ‘I see a yellow duck looking at me.’ The words follow a repetitive pattern, making it a fun and educational read for your baby. I like this book for older babies, 10-12 months of age and older. I also used this to practice baby sign language with my oldest and it was very helpful.”

"Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" by Bill Martin & Eric Carle
“Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin & Eric Carle

“A classic that I loved as a kid!” writes The Perpetual Page-Turner. “The version of this book that I have is a new one to me format-wise (same story)…it has a slide out feature that when you slide it you can see the animals that each animal sees. It’s really cute and I like that when she gets older she can work on those motor skills while trying to slide out the pictures.”

Best Products calls Eric Carle’s illustrations very emotive. “To this day, I have a copy of this book stashed at my work desk. It just holds so many memories of sitting up with my kids when they were babies, reading this over and over.”

3. “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown

Coming in third on the list is the excellent “Goodnight Moon.” “There’s a reason everyone has heard of Good Night Moon,” says Happiest Baby. “The Margaret Wise Brown classic makes bedtime feel safe and cozy by wishing goodnight to every object in the room.”

"Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown
“Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown

“You simply cannot talk about the best books for babies without mentioning Goodnight Moon,” writes What to Expect. “The simple, engaging story — which follows a little rabbit in his bedtime routine — has captivated young readers for decades (and even inspired other writers in their own work). The enchanting illustrations offer lots of surprise and delight, and kids will love tracking the tiny details that change on every page. It really is the perfect bedtime story, so don’t be surprised if you get more than one copy of it at your baby shower.”

HarperCollins calls “Goodnight Moon” a “perfect book.” “In this classic of children’s literature, beloved by generations of readers and listeners, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day.”

4. “Guess How Much I Love You” by Sam McBratney

Mother & Baby says “Guess How Much I Love You” is “the perfect book to snuggle into bed with your little one.” “This lovely board book describes how much Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare love each other. Guess How Much I Love You is the sweetest book that your baby will love listening to you read, and the board book is easy for little hands to move the pages.”

"Guess How Much I Love You" by Sam McBratney
“Guess How Much I Love You” by Sam McBratney

“This is the tale of Little Nutbrown Hare, who’s on a mission to show his dad just how much he loves him,” writes Best Products. “Spoiler alert: It gets even sweeter at the end when Little Nutbrown Hare reveals his love for his dad is right up to the moon — because that’s only half of the love Big Nutbrown Hare has for his baby!”

The Gentle Nursery believes “Guess How Much I Love You” is a “must have in every baby’s starter library.” “This is one of our favorites! It tells the story of a little nut brown hare who is trying to tell the big nut brown hare just how much he loves him. He goes above and beyond to express his love. It’s so sweet and very well-written.”

5. “Moo, Baa, La La La!” by Sandra Boynton

Rounding out the top five for best baby books is “Moo Baa La La La!” by Sandra Boynton. “You can’t go wrong adding any of Sandra Boynton’s board books to baby’s library,” writes Happiest Baby. “We love this exploration of animal sounds, an important part of every baby’s vocabulary.”

"Moo, Baa, La La La!" by Sandra Boynton
“Moo, Baa, La La La!” by Sandra Boynton

“All of her books feature fun themes and pictures, and it’s easy to turn her words into a fun tune while you’re reading,” says Forbes. “‘These books are impossible to read without turning them into a song, and you will have every line memorized after reading them over and over again,’ says Libby McCuan, children’s librarian at Cleveland Public Library.”

What to Expect calls Sandra Boynton a “children’s author powerhouse.” “Your kiddo will love learning the different sounds that animals make — and don’t make — in this silly story. (It’s also available in Spanish if you’re looking for bilingual reads.) And if your little one likes this book, he’ll love the dozens of other equally-delightful stories from Boynton.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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About the Author

Matt Higgins

Matt Higgins worked in national and local news for 15 years. He started out as an overnight production assistant at Fox News Radio in 2007 and ended in 2021 as the Digital Managing Editor at CBS Philadelphia. Following his news career, he spent one year in the automotive industry as a Digital Platforms Content Specialist contractor with Subaru of America and is currently a freelance writer and editor for StudyFinds. Matt believes in facts, science and Philadelphia sports teams crushing his soul.

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