The day that my first child stopped asking me to read the same book over and over and over again? That was a good day.
Because before that point, I had been dangerously close to retelling Curious George as Planet of the Apes just to preserve my sanity.
But now I find myself back at square zero with my youngest. The second I finish reading his favorite baby board book, he looks up at me with those big eyes and touches his pudgy little hands together – sign language for “more.”
Thankfully, I learned my lesson the first go-round: Never let a bad board book in the house.
Because if you don’t love a book the first time you read it, you’re definitely not going to love it the 600th time.
How This List of Baby Board Books Is Different
You won’t change the fact that your baby wants to read the same book over and over. The experts say repetitive reading is fantastic for building a child’s language skills.
But you can make sure that the baby board books in your home are something you enjoy, too. Because your baby will get the most out of a shared reading experience when it’s something you look forward to.
That’s hard to accomplish when you find yourself hiding Love You Forever and Goodnight Moon under couch cushions so your baby won’t ask for them again.
That’s why this list of baby board books is different. Here’s how:
- I’ve had four babies, and I’ve babysat oodles more. I read to my babies several times a day, and when I go to babysit a friend’s baby I always bring my own bag of the best board books. Thanks to all this firsthand experience, I know which baby books will keep a baby’s attention, and I know which books are least likely to drive you bananas. So in this list, you’ll find the baby board books that both babies and parents adore.
- Every time I put together a new list of children’s books for this site, my kids and I read hundreds of books to find the best. Each list takes months to finalize because the librarian looks at us funny if we walk out with more than 50 books at a time. What makes it to the final list is only the best of the best.
- I’m personally kind of obsessed with children’s books, which means I’ve read thousands and thousands of kids’ books as an adult. I also happen to be the pickiest one in my family. If a book is just okay, I’m ruthless about getting that book out of our house as soon as possible. In other words, I have high standards for what goes on my book lists.
9 Best Baby Board Books Most Loved by Babies And Parents
Here are the absolute best baby board books that meet the tough criteria above. To be clear, these board books for babies aren’t all award winners, and you won’t see the titles most children’s literature gurus would put on a “best baby board books” list.
For example, you won’t find Goodnight Moon† in this list, but I mean no disrespect to the book. There’s a reason it’s one of the most classic board books for babies: Babies love it. (Although after you read it 10 times in a row, you may start having nightmares about a creepy old lady in your bedroom whispering “hush.”)
But the point of this list isn’t to share which board books the professionals think are the best. You could find that anywhere. The point of this list is to give you the tried-and-true baby board books most loved by babies and parents.
In our family, we’ve read these board books to all of our babies again and again…happily. We have most memorized by heart. And when our baby gnaws on the spine of one of these books until even duct tape can’t hold it together, we buy another copy to replace it.
Note: If your child has progressed from the board book format for baby books to bona fide picture books, check out The Ultimate List of the Best Picture Books, Endorsed by Kids And Parents.
Note: indicates my family’s absolute top favorites on the list. These are the books my kids can’t get enough of!
- Good Night, Gorilla – Forget Curious George. If you’re looking for a mischievous primate, this gorilla’s got your back. When it comes to baby board books, this has the perfect amount of text for short attention spans. And on the pages with no text, you can either explain what’s happening to your baby or just close your eyes for a few seconds because that’s the closest thing you’ll get to a nap anytime soon.
- Peek-a-Who? – Older kids love reading this board book to babies for the same reason you’ll love it as a tired parent. It has 10 words total, and 5 of those are the same word over and over.
- The Carrot Seed – This kid believes in himself even after everyone important to him including his mom, his dad, and his brother tells him he should give up. Baby board books that encourage a growth mindset have a special place in my heart!
- First 100 Words – The best part of this book is you don’t have to read anything. Babies love to stare at real life pictures in baby board books like this one. Just point at a picture, say the word if you want, and wait til baby is bored with that page and flip it.
- Not a Box – Sometimes all you need to keep a baby happy is an empty cardboard box. Or a book about an empty cardboard box.
- Bear Snores On – This is one of my favorites of all the books for a baby I’ve ever read. And after four babies and hundreds of weekly trips to the library, I’ve read a lot. The story’s cute, but the kicker is the rhythm of the text. It’s just plain fun to read. I have the whole thing memorized, and when my baby is fussy, reciting it calms him right down. This book has more text than some other baby board books, so it works best during the newborn phase and then again later when baby is 1-year-old (or older) and has the patience for actual sentences.
- Mouse Paint – Educational baby board books don’t have to be boring. This book teaches your baby about primary and secondary colors but with a cute storyline.
- Tails – Babies love to reach out and feel the different textures in this book. Babies are like little scientists, constantly taking in new data. If your baby likes this one, be sure to check out the others by this author, like Moo.
- Everywhere Babies – I love the diversity of babies and families shown in this board book. Biological and adopted, breastfed and bottle-fed, two-parent and single-parent, and more. Babies don’t judge, and they love looking at all kinds of babies.
Before you go, get my FREE cheat sheet: 75 Positive Phrases Every Child Needs to Hear
Did I leave something important off this list of the best baby board books? Share in a comment below!