Awesome Books For Baby's First Year

I remember thinking that we received SO many books as baby shower gifts. Little did I know that within a few short months, we would be reading at least 6 books (2 before each nap and 2 before bed) and many days from 10-20. From our stack of baby books, a few favorites quickly emerged. 

Choosing books for your own kiddo or as new baby gifts can be daunting, especially if you're ordering online. I thought I'd share with you some that stand out from the crowd in our house. This list is in no way exhaustive or exclusive. Instead, it's just a jumping off point. You'll notice some familiar classics and probably some titles you've never heard of. I'll also share some "book management" tips.

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Books For Tummy Time and Other Newborn Play

These books are filled with simple, clear pages. They contain real photographs and black & white images perfect for the developing vision of young infants. The first 3 are accordion books, which are great for propping in front of baby in Tummy Time to promote head turning. Learn more about how to use books to supercharge your baby's playtime for healthy development

Great baby books for newborns infants Tummy Time. CanDo Kiddo

Black & White by Tana Hoban 

Baby Look by Shanda LaRamee-Jones & Carol McDougall

Baby Love by Sandra Magsamen

Animals by Roger Priddy

Books For Bedtime

Rhythm and repetition are keys to holding baby's attention for bedtime stories. Bedtime stories are not only wonderful for language development and creating family memories, they can be valuable parts of a familiar bedtime routine to help your baby learn to fall asleep on his own. Read more about how we developed sleep cues through a bedtime routine to help address our baby's sleep problems.

Great baby books for bedtime - early literacy and language development. CanDo Kiddo

Hand, Hand Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. & Eric Carle

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Dancing Feet by Lindsey Craig

Books For Little Hands

Here are some great books that promote grabbing, grasping, poking and lifting flaps - important early fine motor skills. The first book listed is part of the Indestructibles series of "paperback" books that can't be ripped, chewed, soaked or ruined. If only every book in our home could be printed as an Indestructible!

Baby books for little hands - to promote fine motor skills. CanDo Kiddo

Mama & Baby! Indestructibles by Kaaren Pixton

Old MacDonald's Farm Poke-A-Dot book 

Peek-a-Moo! by Marie Torres Cimarusti & Stephanie Petersen

Cheerios Animal Playbook by Lee Wade

Who's Hiding? In The House by Christiane Gunzie

Baby Book Tips and Tricks

Rotate Your Books

Whether you have 15 books or 150 for your kiddo, only keep a few available at a time. I like to aim for 5-8 books in each room where my baby plays. I keep the rest in a storage container in a closet and rotate them every week. This not only keeps them fresh, it encourages repetition. Hearing the same story over and over (while agonizing at times for parents) helps promote language development. If I'm feeling particularly ambitious, I'll offer books on a similar topic or theme (animals, food, friends, transportation) for the week.

Keep Books Within Reach

Keep board books available within your kiddo's reach in baskets or on low shelves to promote independent exploration. Yes, they'll get dumped on the floor, but only having 5-8 out at a time means you won't be picking up a pile of 25 books at the end of every day. Keep less "baby-proof" books - those with paper pages or flaps that could be ripped - out of reach and bring them down when you can directly supervise or read them with your little one.

Tape Your Flaps Ahead Of Time

Flap books are awesome but can easily get abused by babies. I've learned to just go ahead and put clear packing tape along the base of flaps before I even offer the book as extra protection. 

Bring Books With You

Already in pregnancy, I've racked up some serious waiting room time with my kiddo for my regular doctors appointments. Keeping a bigger baby or toddler content for 45 minutes in a waiting room is no small feat!  Having a special stash of books for waiting times helps me follow the recommendations of no screen time for kids under 2 years old. 

Befriend Your Librarian

Consignment sales, used book shops and public libraries are great places to add to your book stash without breaking the bank. I highly recommend getting to know your local librarian, who can make great suggestions for seasonal books or books on particular topics. My little one went through a phase of being fascinated by polka-dots (weird, but true). I asked the children's librarian if she had any books about polka-dots and within 5 minutes we were checking out FOUR books about one of the most obscure topics ever. Librarians really do know their stuff!

What are your kiddo's favorite books?

Leave a comment below to help us all expand our book horizons and find new favorites for our little readers. 

And A Book For New Parents...

Most new parents wish their babies came with instruction manuals. "Begin With A Blanket" is your guide to playing with an infant. Filled with simple, creative activities and explanations of how they promote baby's healthy development, this book is perfect for new or expectant parents. Available in print and eBook. Here's what others are saying: 

"This is an excellent book and is really helping me bond with my newborn."

"This book was a lifesaver! It is now a staple gift from me to other new moms at baby showers."

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