Board books for babies are everywhere, but how are we supposed to find the good ones? This list, curated by a former teacher and Mom of 3, features a personal set of favorites just right for every starting home library.
What are the best books for babies?
Between teaching and parenting, I’ve spent almost 20 years deep in picture books. I feel like I’ve read just about every board book out there (ok that’s a hyperbole) and I’m so happy to share my personal favorite list of the best baby books out there.
For me, the best books for babies are the books that book baby AND parents love reading.
AND books that will grow with our babies and ones they will want to keep reading as toddlers and preschoolers.
We want to instill a love of reading and make a language rich environment for our babies. Books gives us a chance to use language we might not be using in our normal day to day life – meaning it’s a chance for our kids to hear new words.
RELATED: Looking for more gift ideas for baby? Check out this list of baby toys!
Check out my list of favorite board books
I love a good baby book moment and board books will always have a place in my old-mom heart.
My kids and I have loved all the books on this list – I’m sure you’ll love them too.
The best part about these books: kids keep loving them for years down the road.
The 20+ best baby books (that they’ll still love for years)
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The Runaway Bunny
Margaret Wise Brown will always be better known for Goodnight Moon, but this will always be my favorite book she wrote. And I will always be my Mom’s little bunny.
Sheep in a Jeep
It’s rhyming, it’s funny, the sheep take a jeep on a joy ride. What could go wrong?
One of the more fun rhyming books to read – that’s why I like this one for babies AND adults.
Don’t Push the Button!
My 5 year old still reads this book – and still cracks up.
Pat the Bunny
Oh this old classic should never go the way side – Judy and Paul do so many fun things in this ahead of its time interactive book. This is technically not a board book, but it’s too perfect not to include it.
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
A first person narrative and so much suspense – as kids get older, they’ll find the humor in this book.
Mama, Do You Love Me?
An absolute classic that tells the story of how deep a parents love is.
The Peas Say Please
Absolutely to this day, still my youngest son’s favorite book. Had to be included on this list.
Llama Llama Red Pajama
There’s a reason this book makes everyone’s board book list – it’s just that good!
I Love You, Stinky Face
The book that proves even in fictional bedtime land, kids still ask a million questions…
Little Blue Truck
Beep Beep Beep said Little Blue! Trust me, this rhyming book full of animal sounds is a home library must.
Little Red Barn
A lift the flap book BUT this book has the toughest flaps. They stand the test of time… and the little story is so sweet too.
My Family, Your Family!
A beautiful book representing so many families and families structures- showing so simply how different families can look, but how the love is the same.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
A book all about sequence: this paves the way for understanding first, next, and last.
The Going To Bed Book
It’s a fast read because the rhyme makes it almost musical sounding. A perfect before bed book.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
There’s a reason this book is a living legend: the rhythm, the simple pictures, the rhymes. It’s how many kids first start learning letter names. This book is magical.
Hugs and Kisses
Babies and toddlers are drawn to faces and this book made of real-life photos is perfect.
The Napping House
A sequence and pattern book – this one grows with kids so well.
I’ve read this 1000 times and still see something new every time I read it. That is NOT a hyperbole.
Open the Barn Door
I ended up buying a new copy of this for each baby I had. Worth it.
Good Night, Gorilla
There’s no words so you have to make up the narrative for this book…PS: have fun trying to find the balloon on every page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Board books are great for the baby and toddler crowd. So tough and durable. Just because a book is in board book form doesn’t mean it’s not a great book for preschool-age or older. The kind of book (board, paperback, hardback) doesn’t dictate how good the book is.
That’s going to be personal to each family based on budget, space, and availability. For my family, it seems we always read the same 5-10 books on repeat. And that’s not a bad thing! Reading a book over and over is actually great for kids.
From Day One. The moment baby is home with you, begin reading. Make routines and set up patterns. Start with very simple books, but make sure books and read alouds are a part of baby’s day from their very first day.