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10 Fun Books to Read to Baby

Your baby should be read to from birth.

That’s the advice that new and expectant moms across the country are receiving from their pediatricians and other child development experts.

Of course, this recommendation is not about getting your little one to read chapter books before her first birthday. It’s based on brain development research and the critical importance of the experiences your child has during her first three years of life.

Read to your baby now and you will help her build the literacy, language, social and emotional skills that she needs to succeed in school. Plus, snuggling up together to read a book is also great for bonding.

So what should you read to your little love? Newborns are often soothed by the rhythm of nursery rhymes and lullabies, so you might want to put those books at the top of your list. It’s also helpful to know that really young babies will have an easier time seeing books with high-contrast illustrations.

Here are some suggestions to help you start creating the ultimate library checklist for books to read to your baby.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox

This padded board book features rhyme and repetition. The book’s illustrations highlight culturally diverse babies and the rhyming text celebrates the ten little fingers and toes that they all have in common.

Black on White  by Tana Hoban

Designed for infants’ underdeveloped eyes, this book features high-contrast black illustrations on a white background. The book is wordless, which allows you to identify the familiar solid and patterned shapes for baby.

Fuzzy Fuzzy Fuzzy! by Sandra Boyton

A touch and feel board book that delivers a multisensory experience for your little one. Each colorful illustration of a farm animal features a different texture to touch and brief text that describes what is being felt.

Global Babies by The Global Fund for Children

This board book features close-up pictures of babies from around the world. Represented countries include Guatemala, Thailand, Greenland, Mali, U.S.A., India, South Africa, Fiji, Peru, Afghanistan, Malawi, Spain, Iraq, Rwanda, and Bhutan.

Who Flies Cat the Cat?by Mo Willems

A cat introduces her flying animal friends in this rhyming book from the Cat the Cat series. Repetition, colorful art and minimal text make it a natural pick for babies.

Peekaboo Bedtime by Rachel Isadora

This illustrated picture book is all about a toddler's evening at home. The story features a little boy who goes outside to look at the moon with his family and then returns inside to have a snack, take a bath and hear a story.

¡Pío Peep!: Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes: by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy

This book features twenty-nine nursery rhymes that celebrate Spanish and Latin American heritage. Bilingual rhymes are presented in both Spanish and English and are accompanied by adorable illustrations.

Where is Baby’s Bellybutton?: by Karen Katz

This is an interactive board book that is all about babies playing peekaboo. Lifting the flaps to search for baby hands, toes and belly buttons adds to the fun of reading this book with your little one.

Color Zoo: by Lois Ehlert

Your baby will love the animals and shapes found in this unique board book. With every turn of the page, your little one will see one vibrantly colorful animal transformed into another.

Baby Animal Farm: by Karen Blair

Five little toddlers head off to visit a baby animal farm. They see ducklings, chicks, a lamb and other farm friends. Have fun making the animal noises for baby as you read her this infant-friendly board book.

Image: Getty

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