Babies learn so much and advance quite far within the first year of life. Their bodies grow at an alarming rate, and so do their brains. In essence, a baby’s brain is a sponge looking to gather up as much information around them as possible. Therefore, parents need to spend time filling this sponge, and a great way to do so is through reading with the child.
Even as young as a few weeks old, parents should read to their children and stimulate their brains with the vibrant pictures in baby books. Here is a look at the best book for baby’s first year.
10. First 100 Words by Roger Priddy
One of the best books for baby’s first year for teaching babies words comes from Roger Priddy in his book, First 100 Words. These words consist of all the basic words babies need to know.
- Board book, super durable,
- Full of bright colors,
- Softly padded cover.
- Words can be too complex,
- Not simplistic enough for babies,
- Cover easily rips.
Bottom line: This book should be used by parents who plan to help their babies grow into a book. It is perfect for those parents who want to make a large time investment in their baby’s learning patterns based on one book alone. At the same time, since this board book is so durable, it also works great for parents who have multiple children, or parents who plan to have more children, so they need to teach their children to share books from one age to the next.
9. My Very First Book of Colors
Similar to the previous book, My Very First Book of Colors by Eric Carle stands up to durability tests rather well. Though it does not possess the soft cover overlay as the previous one did, the board on this model is a bit sturdier. Therefore, it is one of the best book for baby’s first year.
- Classic board book design,
- Extra thick boards for durability,
- Bright colors that keep babies entertained.
- Larger in size, so can be awkward to hold,
- Pages are not as thick as cover boards,
- Moving parts can be difficult to navigate.
Bottom line: This book is perfect for parents who want to teach their children to interact with the book, making it the best book for baby’s first year. Since the moving parts can be used with small hands, it teaches children tactile skills while learning the basics of reading.
8. Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book
Another great book for babies during their first year comes from Rod Campbell in the form of Dear Zoo: A Life-the-Flat Book. This book keeps babies entertained for hours as it introduces them to reading and to manipulative educational tools at the same time.
- Movable pieces,
- Simple colors.
- Pages rip easily,
- Flaps give out easily,
- Dull colors on the inner pages.
Bottom line: This book works great for parents who really need to help their babies learn fine motor skills. While the flaps do move with ease, it still takes some dexterity to get them going.
7. Baby Signs: A Baby-Sized Introduction to Speaking with Sign Language
Some parents do not even realize the intelligence of their babies until they start out with a book like Baby Signs: A Baby-Sized Introduction to Speaking with Sign Language. Most babies can sign long before they can talk, in reality.
- Teaches baby a form of communication,
- Teaches parent a means to communicate with their child,
- Provides a basic foundation for learning a second language.
- Bulky to hold
- Requires a large time investment from parents,
- E-reader versions can be difficult to read.
Bottom line: This book is great for parents who emphasize the importance of a second language. At the same time, parents who want to learn communication sooner will benefit from this book.
6. Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks from A to Z
Richard Scarry books are well-known for bringing a world of experiences to babies. In many cases, some basic knowledge of the world around babies comes easy with these books. This one, Cars and Trucks from A to Z, opens children up to the world of vehicles.
- A Chunky Book,
- Introduction to details,
- Small in size.
- Might be too small,
- Binding splits easily,
- Pages duplicated or missing.
Bottom line: This book is great for parents who want to introduce their children to fine details on cars. Additionally, it shows children the importance of the alphabet in relation to the world around them.
5. My Baby Book: A Keepsake Journal for Baby’s First Year
Keeping track of a baby’s first year is essential to creating what will eventually be a lifetime of memories. Grown children will look back at their copy of My Baby Book: A Keepsake Journal for Baby’s First Year with an understanding of their roots and how they started out as a human being.
- Starts parents off on the right foot with making and storing memories,
- Gives parents and children something to look back on in years to come,
- Focuses on most major milestones.
- Some parents wish it would hit more milestones,
- Does not provide much space for input,
- Items do not glue well to the inside.
Recommended to: This book is great for parents who want to start making memories early on in their child’s life. At the same time, it teaches parents and children to love crafts early on in the baby’s life.
4. The Wheels on the Train (Nursery Mix-Up)
Most parents know the typical nursery rhymes and how they should go. However, Parragon Books takes the basics and changes them around a little bit with their Nursery Mix-Up series. One popular book from this series happens to be The Wheels on the Train.
- Teaches parents a new take on old nursery rhymes,
- Shows children how to look at the same story in different ways,
- Entices people to think outside of the box.
- Thin pages,
- Not durable enough for babies,
- Not as thick as other board books.
Bottom line: This is great for parents who want to challenge their babies to think outside the box.
3. Where’s Ellie? – A Hide-and-Seek Book by Salina Yoon
When teaching children how to safely play games, parents should use a book to model the game. One such book is Where’s Ellie?: A Hide-and-Seek Book by Salina Yoon. Honestly, it ranks as one of the best book for baby’s first year.
- Safely teaches children how to play a game,
- Shows babies that hide and seek does not mean someone runs away,
- Encourages parents and babies to play games together.
- Thin pages,
- Color pallet is not multi-dimensional,
- Hardcover is not all that hard.
Bottom line: Parents seeking a way to read interactively with their babies will want to start out with this book. It takes babies some time to figure out where the hunt for Ellie will lead them, but once they figure it out one time, they will want to rinse and repeat again and again for hours on end. For parents who want to work in-depth with a book over a long course of time, they should really consider this book.
2. Spot Loves His Daddy by Eric Hill
The Spot books by Eric Hill have been known for a long time to entertain children, and they are certainly known as the best book for baby’s first year. They have been around for a long time, and their stories are classic, such as the one found in Spot Loves His Daddy.
- Introduces children to a series,
- Shows the importance of love,
- Emphasizes bonding time between parent and child.
- Thin pages,
- Not a hard enough cover,
- Bland colors.
Bottom line: Babies will enjoy learning how to love their parents more, so parents should entice such bonding over this book. It also shows the importance of trust early on in the baby’s life.
1. Dr. Seuss’s Happy Birthday, Baby!
Most people think of Dr. Seuss books as meant for children who already know how to read a little bit, or for children working to improve their reading. However, the good doctor has recently introduced a nursery collection as well. For this reason alone, it ranks as the best book for baby’s first year.
- Introduces baby to a vital author in children’s books,
- Opens baby up to poetry,
- Helps parents to read rhythm and pattern.
- Hardback is a little soft,
- Thin pages,
- Longer for some babies to handle.
Bottom line: This book goes out to all those Dr. Seuss loving families out there. It also teaches babies to like poetry at an early age.
Parents have plenty of options for finding books to read their babies within the first year. Most of these books listed above are the perfect choices to start a reading collection. The best baby book for the first year belongs to Dr. Seuss according to online ratings and reviews, but our personal favorite is The Wheels on the Train; what’s yours? If you have any thoughts on the best book for baby’s first year, please share them with us.