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I’m a huge book lover. I’ve loved reading my whole life. In school, I used to get in trouble for reading in class instead of paying attention! So, naturally, when I had children of my own, I wanted to foster that same love of reading in them too. As soon as they were old enough to hold their own sippy cup (because both of my babies were lazy and refused to hold their own bottles), I started giving them their bedtime feeds in their sippy, so I had my hands free to hold a book and read to them. It’s our special quiet time. We just cuddle and relax and enjoy a story.
For us, board books are a must, Charlie likes to grab the pages and flip them around herself, so I like the durability of the thick cardboard pages. Plus, if she puts one in her mouth, and I don’t catch her right away, she’ll do less damage than to a traditional paper book (just ask Emma, who now has a paperback book with a hole chewed in the front cover). So, here’s a list of my favorite books to read to my girls are babies:
Usbourne’s That’s Not My series: These books are bright and colorful and have something to touch on every page. And not just that, they use adjectives to describe each texture to help baby not only develop their sensory skills, but their language skills also.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar: This is a classic and one of my favorites as a child. I give this as part of every baby shower gift I give, so of course I have one for our bookshelves too.
BabyLit books: I’ve read a lot of classic literature (I was an English major in college, after all), so I love the idea of introducing the classics to children early. Plus, these books teach colors, numbers, and more! My personal favorites are the ones that have excerpts of the original texts in them, like The Jungle Book, Jabberwocky, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Anything by Sandra Boynton: Boynton’s books are simple and silly and aren’t something I mind reading on repeat. When Emma was first old enough to start requesting books to be read to her, all she wanted were the Boynton books. We have several of her books, but our favorites are Hippos Go Berserk, But Not the Hippopotamus, Moo Baa La La La, Pajama Time, and The Going to Bed Book. (Fun Fact: For the longest time, Emma thought the sound pigs made was “la la la”! It was a very adorable side effect of Boynton.)
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?: The description of this book lists it as suitable for 2-years-old and up, but I still love it for babies. It’s a colorful and simple way to teach them the names of different animals. While we have the Polar Bear book, Bill Martin wrote a few different books like these, staring different animals and they’re all just as cute and educational: Baby Bear, Panda Bear, and Brown Bear.
First 100 Words Book: Emma and I wore this book out! So much so that I had to go buy a new one when I was pregnant with Charlie! It’s filled with 100 bright pictures of simple objects and their names, for children to see and learn. This was another book that Emma brought to us over and over and over again.
Peek-A-Who?: This is a short and cute book, with simple rhyming that makes children guess what’s what’s peeking through the book’s cut out windows. Adorable and fun.
Goodnight Moon: Another classic baby book, and for a good reason. The cadence of the poetry is slow and gentle, perfect for slowing things down after a busy day and lulling baby into dreamland.
Goodnight Mr. Darcy: And, of course, because I love classic literature and Pride & Prejudice is one of my favs, I had to add this Goodnight Moon parody to our collection.
Hello Ninja: I picked this book up at Target on a whim one day and am so happy that I did! The rhyming is cute and fun and I never get tried of reading it (and Emma made me read it a lot).
What are some of your favorite books to read to your babies?