10 Types of Books for Your Baby’s First Library


Janey Strong

There are 10 different types of books I recommend for your baby’s first library. These books are guaranteed to entertain, enhance and nurture your baby’s development. Variety is the spice of life – so let’s mix it up! All of these books will help support your baby’s development in different ways.

High Contrast Board Books

These books are geared mostly toward the 0-3 month crowd. When babies are born, their eyesight hasn’t fully developed yet.  High contrast books (likeTanya Hoban’s – Black & White) create greater amounts of stimulation for your baby which results in more growth and development in their eyesight and little minds. 

Place a high contrast book about 10 inches from your babies face and watch the spark in their little eyes be ignited!!  These books are also a great way to extend tummy time. You can lay them on the floor in front of your baby or prop them up for something interesting and stimulating to look at.

Nursery Rhymes/Mother Goose

Not a fan of Mother Goose?  Well, I don’t think she’s going anywhere anytime soon!  The rhythm and rhyme in her text is basically like music to a baby’s ears.  Little ears thrive on sing-songy texts.  They are soothing and comforting and are really great for language development.  Don’t underestimate the GOOSE – as annoying as she may be at times.

The Classics

These are my absolute favorite books to read.  They honestly feed my soul! These stories have been loved and enjoyed for generations.  They have lovable characters, sweet illustrations and words that will warm your heart when you read them.  They are the books you could read a hundred times over and never get tired of.  Well, you might get a liiiiiitle bit tired of them, but I encourage you to ….. just keep reading! 

Repetition & Rhyming Books

Any books that Repeat and Rhyme are wonderful for hearing awareness and aid in setting a solid foundation for how words and language work.  These books will be so important as your child gets older and starts being able to predict what word might come next in a rhyming text.  Ever wonder why children’s books repeat the same phrases over and over again on every page?  Well…it’s basically like music to a child’s ears. 

They love hearing things over and over and over again – simply put, it’s how they learn.  Children love familliarty the same way that we do.  Maybe for you, it’s the same yummy cup of coffee every morning or your love of a favorite movie you’ve seen a hundred times, or maybe you always take the same way home because it just feels right.

Bold, Colorful Books

As a babies’ vision is developing – they will see the color red first.  Then by around 5 months of age they will begin to see all of the colors in the spectrum.  Soooooo…bring on the colorful, bold books!  They will love gazing and interacting with as many colors as possible.  Hello Rainbow!

Touchy Feely Books

These are always a hit with babies because they like to discover the world around them with all of their senses.  These books engage their eyes, their ears and offer different, fun textures for touching and tasting.  When all of their little senses are firing – lots and lots of learning is happening!  All.Good.Things.

Interactive Books

Books that get kids moving or doing things like peek a boo or clapping their hands is a great way to make reading fun and interactive.  Babies love testing out new found skills and engaging with you.  These books come in particularly handy when your little one gets wiggly and wants to move and groove as opposed to sit still and listen. 


These books are pretty genius!  And, like the name says – they are practically indestructible.  The books are super light-weigth and easy to haul around in a diaper bag or purse.  You can feel perfectly at ease giving these gems to your baby to chew and slobber all over and they are guaranteed to never rip or tear.  These books are made up of a 100% non-toxic, paperlike substance that will stand up to anything your baby throws at it.  If they get dirty – you can just wash them off!  There are many different variations and stories available.

Bath Books

It’s always a good idea to have a few waterproof books designed specifically for the bath.  These are a really fun way to expose your baby to books – there is no pressure and no expectation.  They will splash with them, chew on them – and maybe you can get in a few words or pages in between dunks.  But, again – we are going for exposure and just surrounding then with books however we can.

Simple Objects or First Word Books

Books that feature real life photos of everyday objects including babies are so beneficial and stimulating for babies.  These books are extremely simple and usually the only words in the book are to label the objects.  These books allow the parent to talk about the objects without following a specific storyline.  Many of the objects in these books will be among your babies first words – like dada or mama or ball.  As your baby gets older they will begin to recognize the images, point to them and eventually try saying them.  These books are always a hit and a must for your baby’s first library.

Ok, now that we’ve talked about what books to include in your baby’s first library – let’s talk a little bit about building it.  Please don’t feel overwhelmed or like you have to get a TON of books!  You do not need to have tons of books for your baby to have a great first library.  I want you to focus more on variety. 

Ideally, if you could have at least one book from each of the 10 categories listed above for your baby’s first library – that would be amazing!  This just ensures they are getting all of the benefits from each of the types of books that we discussed.  They all enhance early literacy skills in a different way and give variety and fun to your reading sessions.

Download below a complete list of book recommendations to build your baby’s first library.

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