Early childhood experts share their favorite books for infants.
It’s never too early to start reading to your little one. Reading with your baby not only increases their exposure to language, but it also nurtures their connection with you! Short books with calming rhythmic stories are a great place to start with infants.
Here are a few of our favorites. Be sure to share YOUR favorites below in the comments!
Written by Emily Winfield Martin
This lovely bedtime book offers beautiful illustrations of boys, girls and fanciful creatures who carry these diminutive dreamers to fantasy locations. Light on text, but heavy on dreamscapes, each page offers a chance to talk and notice the illustrations together.
Submitted by: Kirsten Eamon-Shine, Director of Communications & Engagement at Early Learning Indiana
First 100 Words
A colorful introduction to everyday objects that are likely to be among a child’s first words. Made up of simple photographs with their corresponding word, this books helps children connect the objects in the book to their real life counterparts.
“It has vibrant pictures of real-life things like animals, trucks, toys and food, which helps children associate words with pictures.” – Emily Jarboe, Curriculum & Instruction Specialist, Early Head Start Child Care Network
Written by Donald Crews
This Caldecott Honor book features bold and colorful trains and minimal text. The text describes all the different train cars from the black tender all the way to the red caboose at the back. A must have for any budding train-lover.
Submitted By: Amber Wetherholt, Infant Teacher at Day Early Learning Lilly Family Center
Written by Margaret Wise-Brown
A classic book great for any little learners library. Goodnight Moon is a timeless favorite of many of our teachers! The calming story about a baby rabbit saying goodnight to everything and everyone he sees in his room is perfect for bedtime.
“I love the tempo of this book! It is so calming.” – Karen Crow, Center Director at Day Early Learning at Fort Harrison
“Goodnight Moon is great for learning to recognize the world around you.” – Angela Sutton, Teacher at Day Early Learning at Park 100
Written by Jez Alborough
A little monkey is searching the jungle for a hug. This book is very light on words, but offers lots to explore with beautiful illustrations of sweet, expressive pairs of baby and parent animals on every page.
“Hugs are such a natural part of social emotional growth. It also gives the opportunity to talk about parents and their children, as well as different animals” – Amber Wetherholt, Infant Teacher at Day Early Learning Lilly Family Center
It’s Time to Sleep, My Love
Written and Illustrated by Nancy Tillman
From the author/illustrator of the popular On the Night You Were Born, you can expect the same beautiful illustrations and heartfelt message. Animals around the world prepare for bed and whisper to their babies “It’s Time to Sleep, My Love.”
“A great bedtime book to relax and share how much you love your little one.”- Amber Wetherholt, Infant Teacher at Day Early Learning Lilly Family Center
Planting a Rainbow
Featuring bold and colorful pictures, this book teaches children about flowers and colors. The story is short and simple enough for babies, but it can grow with your toddler.
Submitting by Heather Mitchell, Infant Teacher at Day Early Learning Center for Infants & Toddlers
Written by Sandra Boynton
Sandra Boynton books are perfect for babies and young toddlers. Snuggle Puppy features a loving upbeat song and ends with a kiss! A fun book to share with your little one.
“It has a little song that goes along with the book and communicates love and affection for your baby.” – Amber Wetherholt, Infant Teacher at Day Early Learning Lilly Family Center
The Going to Bed Book
Written by Sandra Boynton
The Going to Bed Book is short and sweet, perfect for babies and young toddlers. The story follows silly animals as they go through their nightly routine, introducing the math concept of opposites like big and small. From taking a bath in one big tub to being rocked to sleep, the calming, rhyming story is sure to be a bedtime staple.
Submitted by: Brittany Fortman, Manager of Communications & Engagement at Early Learning Indiana
Where is Baby’s Belly Button?
Written by Karen Katz
Find baby’s hand, toes, belly button and more in this cute peek-a-boo lift-the-flap book that’s great for older babies.
“This is a cute one and it teaches children about their body parts.” – Emily Jarboe, Curriculum & Instruction Specialist, Early Head Start Child Care Network
What books do you love reading with your baby? Add your family’s favorites in the comments below!