Books are magical. They transport us to different universes, expand our worldviews, and teach us lifelong values. Baby books are no different!
I believe that the best time to introduce our kids to the magical world of reading is as early as possible! This means taking the time to read to our newborns.
Though they’re a ways away from reading themselves (or talking for that matter!) they can still find fun and laughter when read to. Plus, by reading to your little ones, you’re creating beautiful bonding opportunities.
Not sure what to read to a new baby? No worries! I have collected a list of the best baby books to read to your newborn to instill in them a deep love of reading.
Why Should I Read to My Newborn?
We all know that it’s a good idea to read to our children, but why?
There are actually several important reasons why parents are encouraged to read these new baby books to their newborns.
Reading to our children is a key concept in encouraging literacy in early childhood development. In 2017, The American Academy of Pediatrics began recommending that parents read to their children out loud from birth.
The early introduction of literacy also encourages children to read more as they grow older!
Creates Bonding Opportunities
Reading your newborn a story creates one-on-one bonding time beyond meeting your baby’s basic needs.
Simply having your baby listen to the sound of your voice can help nurture early bonding. It allows you and your baby to enjoy your time together and share a passion for reading.
Helps Establish a Routine
Reading can be a great tool to wind down before bedtime. Make it part of your daily routine to help both of you relax and unwind.
Babies thrive on routine, and the soothing nature of reading a book will help him or her feel ready to sleep (mom win!).
Includes Older Siblings
Older siblings are likely curious about their new little brother or sister. Much to their dismay, however, newborns aren’t quite ready to play.
Instead, create bonding opportunities for your children by reading to them together or even having the older child read to the new baby!
Even if your older children can’t read yet, they can show the baby the pictures as you narrate.
15 Best New Baby Books to Read to Your Newborn
Now that you know why you should be readying to your newborn, let’s talk about what books you should reach for!
Explore new favorites and timeless classics with these parent and child-approved picture books!
1) Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
This fun and interactive book is sure to be a new family favorite! It resonates with young children and older children alike so it will definitely grow with your newborn.
Starring a gang of barnyard animals, this sweet story shows the power of friendship and helping those in need.
This book is a great read-aloud because it includes a ton of funny sound words and animal noises!
2) The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
First-time parents need to introduce their children to this classic tale! This is one of those true favorites that kids tend to remember far beyond their childhood.
The cheerful fruit imagery and colorful patterns really resonate with young children. The story is simple to follow and truly enchanting.
3) Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
This classic board book is one of my top picks for children’s books. It has vivid, bright colors, rhyming text, and a soothing tone.
It is the perfect addition to a bedtime routine as the narrator wishes all of the items in the home a good night. The rhyming nature acts almost as an incantation, lulling little listeners to peaceful sleep.
Goodnight Moon is a Margaret Wise Brown classic that will stick with your children for years to come.
4) Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.
Are you a fellow fan of books that rhyme? If so, you’ll love this book too!
This rhyming treat takes an early look at language, exploring different animal names and their corresponding colors.
Young children will enjoy the repetitive form and bold imagery. You can even find a song version of the book online if you feel inclined to sing along!
5) The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
The perfect bedtime routine book does exist! Explore the routines of various animals as they prepare for bed in this rhyming, sing-song book.
Babies will enjoy the musical cadence of this book and as they grow, can relate to the routines of these familiar animal friends!
6) I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont
Self-confidence is never too early to learn! It’s an integral value that isn’t always easy to hold onto.
Encourage confidence with this ode to self-love! Beaumont includes a charming story with whirlwind imagery and a whole lot of personality!
The book focuses on a young girl relaying all the things she likes about herself. It is seriously cute and reads true to life – because liking yourself, both the good and the bad, never goes out of style!
7) I’m a Big Sister by Joanna Cole
Looking for a way to include an older sibling into your new baby’s storytime? Joanna Cole has you covered.
This baby board book is a great way to prepare young children for the arrival of a new sibling. Share this book with your little girl and show her why being a big sister is so amazing!
Then, once the new baby has arrived, your kids can enjoy the book together. And if big sister is old enough, she can read parts of the book aloud to her new sibling!
8) I’m a Big Brother by Joanna Cole
Joanna Cole makes a great book for big brothers too! Like I’m a Big Sister, this is a good book to share all the best things about being an older sibling.
9) Waiting for Baby by Rachel Fuller
Get ready for your baby’s first day at home with this fantastic book. This is a unisex option to prepare children for your newborn baby’s arrival.
While getting a new little sister or brother can be exciting, it can also be really stressful. A new baby means change, and younger children probably have some questions (and concerns) about what this means for them!
This is one of the best books to tackle these concerns. It has simple text that younger children can understand and enjoy.
Then, once baby arrives, big brother or big sister can read the book to the new arrival. It’s so sweet!
10) Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
This sweet book is a sentimental dream, and one of my favorite new baby books! It’s the perfect book for your baby’s library because it speaks to what matters most – the love a parent has for their children.
Munsch writes a classic book for new parents to share their endless love. It features a mother singing a lullaby about this love for her son.
She demonstrates that although parenting is difficult and frustration often creeps up, her love remains unwavering.
This is one of my favorite books because beyond its musical text and lovely illustrations, its message to children is clear: your parents will love you in good times and bad.
Fair warning, though: I tear up every single time I read this one!!
11) Dr. Seuss’s ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book!
No one does fun like Dr. Seuss. This quick read offers an introduction to the ABCs with a little bit of silly flair.
The format slightly resembles a flashcard, meaning that education is a priority with this picture book!
Seuss makes learning seriously joyful with tons of funny characters and sound words. This will be a favorite of baby’s for years to come!
12) Hello My World Illustrated by Jannie Ho
This high-contrast board book features black and white patterns to engage your brand-new baby.
As babies’ eyes are still developing, it is easier for them to focus on high-contrast visuals. The bold illustrations are made to help babies develop visual connections from a young age, making it the perfect new baby book.
This board book makes connections to common objects your baby will experience in the world.
It includes simple words and high-contrast illustrations that will resonate with new babies.
13) Dream Big Little One by Vashti Harrison
This is a great choice for a baby shower gift. Because it’s a newer release, parents likely won’t already have it in their home library.
Vashti Harrison weaves a tale that is made to inspire. It includes a collection of inspirational women that helped to shape and change the world!
Add this read to your baby’s bookshelf to encourage them to dream big!
14) Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt
A padded board book is a good choice for little hands to grasp from a young age. Pat the Bunny is a classic new baby book as a “touch and feel” book that encourages interaction.
The book contains fun things for your little one to do, such as patting the fur of a little bunny.
While certainly not a new picture book (it was originally published in 1940!), its popularity and purpose remain relevant.
This book promotes a sensory approach to learning that helps with early childhood development.
This classic is a perfect choice for your baby’s first year. For extra tactile fun, also consider purchasing the trio of books which includes Pat the Bunny, Pat the Puppy, and Pat the Cat!
15) Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk
This is another lyrical masterpiece that makes the perfect bedtime story to add to your nightly routine.
Written by Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, this sweet story tells the tale of the gifts bestowed on a new baby by the different animals of the arctic.
This book has it all – beautiful illustrations, song-like text, and a strong connection to the natural world.
Final Thoughts On New Baby Books
Reading to your newborn is so important to encourage early literacy skills and create priceless bonding opportunities. You can find these amazing new baby books online, at your local bookstore, or at your local library! Explore them all to find your little ones’ timeless favorites.
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