Books for New Babies (A Gift Guide)

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Books for New Babies(1)

It’s never too early to start reading to a new baby, or to start building his or her personal library. If a new baby has joined your family recently, it’s a great idea to give the little one a book as a holiday gift. There are so many books being marketed to babies, it can be overwhelming to search for just the right ones. To help you with your holiday shopping, today I’m sharing my list of tried-and-true favorites that would make wonderful gifts for Baby’s First Christmas.

Black on White - Great for baby's first Christmas gift! White on Black - Great for baby's first Christmas gift!
Black on White
by Tana Hoban
White on Black by Tana Hoban

Newborn eyes focus best on sharply defined shapes. These books show images of familiar everyday objects in high-contrast black-and-white illustrations. They provide opportunities for introducing new vocabulary to your baby without having to read lengthy passages of text, and they even fold out and stand up so that Baby can look at them herself during tummy time.

Baby Faces I Love Colors What's On My Head?
Baby Faces by Margaret Miller
I Love Colors by Margaret Miller
What’s On My Head? by Margaret Miller

Babies are drawn to faces, and they are intrigued by the actions of other babies. In these books, Margaret Miller shares photographs of little ones wearing different colors and hats and displaying different emotions. The text is short and sweet, simply describing what’s going on in each image, and the books are made from durable cardboard that will hold up for many re-readings.

All Fall Down Tickle Tickle Say Goodnight
All Fall Down by Helen Oxenbury
Tickle, Tickle by Helen Oxenbury
Say Goodnight by Helen Oxenbury

These oversized board books featuring Helen Oxenbury’s adorable illustrations focus on simple scenes from a baby’s day-to-day life. In All Fall Down, a group of toddlers runs around and falls down in a heap. Tickle, Tickle takes place at the beach, where babies play in the mud, then wash it off in the ocean water. Say Goodnight is a bedtime story where babies play all morning, then take a nap. Each of these books features simple rhyming text that will soothe young listeners.

Bedtime Rhymes Farmyard Rhymes
Clare Beaton’s Bedtime Rhymes
Clare Beaton’s Farmyard Rhymes

Every child’s library should include some nursery rhymes. These beautiful books by Clare Beaton introduce classic rhymes on two themes – bedtime, and the farmyard – which are illustrated with hand-embroidered illustrations on solid backgrounds. Bedtime favorites include “Wee Willie Winkie”,  “All the Pretty Little Horses”, and “Brahm’s Lullaby”. The farmyard collection includes “To Market, To Market”, “Baa Baa Black Sheep”, and “Mrs. Hen.”

Animal Sounds
Animal Sounds by Aurelius Battaglia

Tiny babies won’t be ready to make animal sounds just yet, but they will still enjoy hearing you imitate each of the animals in this classic Golden Book. Baby can revisit this book again and again as he grows from a newborn to a preschooler.

Peekaboo Morning Peekaboo Bedtime
Peekaboo Morning
by Rachel Isadora
Peekaboo Bedtime by Rachel Isadora

Say good morning or goodnight to your little one with these sweet peekaboo stories that show what a baby can see in his house by daylight and moonlight. These books have great rhythmic repetition and introduce basic vocabulary for the things and people your baby sees every day.

This Little Piggy Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes If You're Happy and You Know It
This Little Piggy
by Annie Kubler
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes by Annie Kubler
If You’re Happy and You Know It by Annie Kubler

These short, simple books introduce babies to favorite childhood songs and rhymes that will stick with them throughout their lives.  Provided in the back of each book is the sheet music for each song, and the illustrations clearly portray the motions associated with each one. As Baby grows, you can teach him to clap, dance, and sing along!

Each of these books makes a wonderful baby gift during the holidays or at any time. I hope you will enjoy sharing some of these titles with the new little one in your life!

About Katie Fitzgerald

Katie Fitzgerald holds degrees in English and library science, and has worked in small town and big city libraries, serving both children and teens. You can read her book reviews and posts about story time, picture books, and early literacy at Story Time Secrets. Also follow her blog on Facebook for kidlit quotations, story time suggestions, and interesting links.


  1. […] For great books to share with babies, check out my posts: Best of Baby Story Time: Books and Books for New Babies: A Gift Guide. […]

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