Read on for Guidance on choosing the right books for baby. I have tried to answer common questions like – What are the different type of baby books? and where can you buy baby books from?
We all know that we should read to our babies and introduce them to books at a very early stage. But the problem we all face is that we do not know how to choose the right book.
If you still think my baby is too young for books, then would love you to read five reasons why you should read to your baby before continuing with this article.
I have tried googling ‘How to pick the right book for baby and toddlers’ many times but the search results usually showed a list of books that are either not available in nearby stores or are very expensive. If you are in a similar scenario, then please read on for some guidance on how you know which baby books are right for your child.
Age based tips for choosing the right books for baby.
What I realized during my experience of buying books is that it is not important to buy the exact book that somebody else is raving about but what is more important is to understand your baby. And then try to understand why kids like some books outright and reject others.
So based on my experiences, here are few questions that you should ask yourself before selecting a book for your baby and toddler. The list of below questions will help you select your baby’s first books.
As a mom, I understand the importance of choosing the right books for your baby and how it can be a bit overwhelming. Here are some detailed tips to help you, as well as other moms, navigate this wonderful journey:
Safety and Durability
Babies explore with their mouths and hands, so safety is paramount. Opt for board books with rounded corners and sturdy, non-toxic pages that can endure baby’s handling.
Early Sensory Development
Babies are fascinated by touch. Look for books with textures like fur, silk, or embossed patterns that encourage sensory exploration. These books can also enhance their fine motor skills. Check What is the book made of?
Books can be classified on the material they are made of – Board, Cloth/Fabric or Paper.
For babies – board books and cloth books are good options. They are difficult to tear and easy on hands and teeth. Remember your baby is going to mouth it, no matter what you do !
Also another reason why board books are great is because they can be wiped easily so they are very easy to maintain.
I personally did not find many cloth books in stores so most of the books I bought were board books. But now I can see fabric activity books for toddlers are available online. If you want you can buy from amazon
Buy Handpicked Fabric or Cloth books
What is the size of book?
You will find baby and toddlers books in all sizes – small, medium and large.
For babies buy books that are small in size so that they can hold it in their tiny hands. Once your baby learns how to flip through a book and gets used to the idea of holding a book in his hand you can buy medium and large sized books.
If in confusion, picture your baby flipping through the books pages and you will understand what I mean.
High Contrast and Bold Colors
Newborns have limited vision at first, so high-contrast, black-and-white books are excellent choices. As they grow, introduce books with bold, vibrant colors to stimulate their visual development.
Choose books that align with your baby’s age and developmental stage. For infants, start with simple, uncluttered images and progress to books featuring everyday objects and, eventually, stories.
Babies love interaction. Books with flaps to lift, mirrors for self-discovery, or peek-a-boo surprises make reading engaging and fun. Check What does the book contain?
Books for babies and toddlers usually contains pictures and some words. Also they can be classified on its content – stories, alphabets, numbers, colors, shapes and first words.
So irrespective of the content buy books that contains more pictures and less words. Also the illustrations should be simple, spaced out, bold and bright. For newborns books that contain high contrast images or contain black and white pictures are good.
As your baby grows into a toddler, he will start getting interested in words so you can then buy books with more words (2-3 sentences on each page) and illustrations.
Check What can your baby do with the book ?
I know it’s a funny thing to consider but very important.
We know babies can not read and it will take them some time to master this art. So the first thing they will do with the book is to – mouth it. The next activity depends on what the book offers.
I have tried to classify such activity based books below:
a) Lift the Flap Books
These books have illustrations and flaps. Lifting these flaps is something that babies and toddlers both enjoy.
b) Touch and Feel books
These books along with pictures also has some textures embedded in the book. For e.g. a picture of basket will actually feel like woven basket, the picture of dog will have a furry texture. Good for introducing babies to different textures and keeping an inquisitive toddler engaged.
c) Sound or Musical Books
These books usually have one or more button to play music or read the story aloud. Once babies are old enough to understand cause-and-effect phenomenon they love pressing the button to hear the music again and again.
d) Pop Up books
These books have popup up pictures embedded in them. When you flip a page a picture will pop up. These books are more suitable for toddlers than babies. For toddlers these books are like magic. Beware the pop ups won’t last long but the when your toddler experiences it for the first time his expression are worth everything.
e) Puppet books
These books have finger or hand puppets embedded in them. So while you read you can use the puppet and make the experience more interesting for your kids.
Repetition is key to language development. Books with simple, repetitive phrases or rhymes help babies grasp language patterns and engage with the story.
Lullabies and Rhymes
Bedtime stories with soft, rhythmic text can become part of a soothing bedtime routine. Choose books with a lullaby-like quality to help your baby wind down.
Books that make sounds, such as crinkly pages, gentle squeaks, or soft jingles, enhance the sensory experience. Babies love discovering new sounds.
Keep a mix of different types of books on hand. This keeps things interesting and exposes your baby to various styles and themes.
Follow Their Lead
Pay attention to what captivates your baby. If they show an interest in animals, for example, explore books with animal themes to nurture their curiosity.
Your voice is magic to your baby. Read with enthusiasm and expression, using different tones and facial expressions. Your baby will react to your energy and emotions.
Visiting the library is an adventure for both you and your baby. It’s a great way to discover new books and encourage a love for reading from an early age.
Let your baby explore the books freely, even if it means a bit of chewing and page-turning chaos. This is how they learn and develop their own relationship with books.
Rotate the Collection
Babies can get attached to one particular book, but it’s good to introduce variety. Rotate the selection to keep things fresh and exciting.
Reading with your baby is not just about the books; it’s about the precious bonding time you share. These moments will create wonderful memories and strengthen your connection.
Also Read – 10 Proven Ways to Bond with Your Baby
In the end, all I will say is that you should always remember the two golden rules when choosing the right book for your baby or toddler – One – Each child is unique and Second – You know your baby best.
So decide on a book based on what you think he or she will enjoy. Also have patience as “Like any relationship this one may take time to build”. If your baby does not show interest in books then keep the book away as he may not be ready for this activity yet. Re-introduce him to books after some days.
Hope you find these tips on choosing the right books for babies useful.
Where to Buy most popular baby and toddler books
If you have ever wondered where to buy baby books. Then the answer is amazon
Image Credit © Andrey Kiselev | Dreamstime Stock Photos
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Choosing the right books can be difficult. How do you choose books for your little one, do let us know your inputs by adding comments below.