Choosing the right books for baby and toddlers – Ask these 4 easy questions

Read on for Guidance on choosing the right books for baby and toddlers. I have tried to answer common questions like – What are the different type of baby and toddler books ? and where can you buy baby and toddler 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 do you know which baby and toddler books are right for your child.

Age based tips for choosing the right books for baby and toddlers

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.

What is the book made of ?

Choosing the right books for baby and toddlers made easy - Ask 4 easy questions

Books can be classified on the material they are made of – Board, Cloth/Fabric or Paper.

For babies and toddlers – 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?

How to pick the right baby and toddlers 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.

 What does the book contain?

How to choose books for babies and toddlers

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.

What can your baby do with the book ?

books to read to toddlers

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.

Buy Lift the Flap books from Amazon

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.

Buy Touch and Feel Books from Amazon

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.

Buy Sound Books from Amazon

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.

Buy Pop Up Books from Amazon

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.

Buy Puppet Books from Amazon

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 and toddler useful.

Do you want to read reviews of books by other moms ? Are you interested in reading the carefully compiled list of books recommended for each age. Click here to get started.


If you have ever wondered where to buy baby books. Then the answer is amazon

Image Credit © Andrey Kiselev | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Liked this post ?

You may also want try your hand at this interesting curated list of books your one year old will love.

Books your one year old will love

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