Language Skills: The Best Books for a Baby

Reading to your baby each day can support their language development. The more books you read to your baby, the more words they will recognise and the quicker they’ll start to talk and form sentences.  

Despite helping to boost a baby’s language skills and brainpower, many parents are failing to read to their children. As a result, many children enter primary school with a poor vocabulary, which can impact their education. 

If you would like to improve your son or daughter’s language skills, here are the best books for a baby. 

That’s Not My… (Fiona Watt) 

The That’s Not My series has become a popular book for babies, as it features bold pictures and various textures to support both their sensory and language development. For example, the books will often feature fluffy fur, bumpy teeth, or shiny animal paws. Plus, its chunky pages are strong enough to handle the inevitable chewing of the corners by your baby. 

There are currently 33 books available, such as That’s Not My TigerThat’s Not My Santa, and That’s Not My Puppy, to name only a few. 

First 100 Words (Roger Priddy) 

First 100 Words is a must-have book to introduce during your child’s first year of life. It features 100 essential words and bright pictures that can help your child to understand the names of everyday objects, such as apple, dog, ball and car. The more you read the book, the more likely they’ll attempt to say the words each day. 

Dear Zoo (Rod Campbell) 

Dear Zoo is easily one of the best books for a baby and has proven popular with both parents and little ones since it was first published in 1982. You can guarantee it will make reading time fun for your fast-growing son or daughter, as they will love it when you make different animal sounds when reading the story to them before bed. Plus, your kids will enjoy lifting the flaps to reveal the many animals sent by the zoo, such as a lion, elephant and a cheeky monkey. 

Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star (Ladybird Touch and Feel) 

Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star offers a wonderful touch and feel collection of classic nursery rhymes, which are ideal before your child’s bedtime. You can help your baby to drift off to the land of nod with illustrated versions of Hey Diddle Diddle, Rock-a-bye, Baby, Wee Willie Winkle, Hush-a-bye, Baby and, of course, Twinkle, Twinkle. There are also many textures and patterns for your baby to explore, such as fleece blankets, twinkling stars, and glittering moons. 

Don’t Tickle the Hippo (Sam Taplin) 

Don't tickle the Hippo

Give your little one a reason to smile with Don’t Tickle the Hippo. Your child will love to explore the interactive book, which offers touchy-feel buttons that offer fun animal sounds and are easy for babies to press.

It is sure to make them laugh aloud, and they will love it even more once they reach the end of the story, as all the animals will make their noises at once. There are also many Don’t Tickle the… books in the series, such as Don’t Tickle the Lion and Don’t Tickle the Dinosaur

Where’s Spot? (Eric Hill) 

Where’s Spot? is a great first read for babies, as it features many hide-and-seek flaps to spark your child’s curiosity and imagination. The fun adventure book follows a mischievous puppy you’ll need to find by lifting the flaps. It also features colourful images and simple text that’s ideal for pre-readers.  

Remember, you also can support your child’s development and motor skills through play. Click here to find the best newborn toys. 

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