18 of the best baby books for 0-12 months

Books help babies to develop their early language skills, as well as cultivate a life-long love of reading. Here are the best baby books for their first year including board books, buggy books and bath books. 

Baby books are important for a child’s development. The benefits of reading to children from a young age are well known, from helping parents and babies to bond, to contributing to improving language skills and preparing children to start reading alone. Here, we’ve put together a selection of the very best baby books all little ones (and parents!) are sure to love.

Looking for more inspiration? Don't miss our edit of the best picture books for children of all ages. 

The best board books for babies

Babies Laugh at Everything

by Dr Caspar Addyman

Book cover for Babies Laugh at Everything

Written by an expert in babies' laughter, Dr Caspar Addyman's Babies Laugh at Everything is sure to get little ones giggling. With lots of funny noises, engaging illustrations as well as easy-to-press sound buttons and a mirror, this board book engages a baby's senses to get the whole family laughing. 

Babies Laugh at Peekaboo

by Dr Caspar Addyman

Book cover for Babies Laugh at Peekaboo

Research from Dr Caspar Addyman, a leading expert in what makes babies laugh, has shown that playing peekaboo is the best way to get a little one giggling. Babies Laugh at Peakaboo is therefore scientifically developed to help babies and carers bond through reading and laughter. Babies will love opening the pages to reveal smiling, giggling and laughing baby faces, all beautifully illustrated by Ania Simeone.

Dear Zoo

by Rod Campbell

Book cover for Dear Zoo

Rod Campbell's lift-the-flaps book has been a favourite with parents and children since it was first published back in 1982, and this board book version perfect for infants. Lift the flaps together, and discover a lion, a monkey and even an elephant. But will they ever manage to send the perfect pet?

Fluffy Kitten

by Rod Campbell

Book cover for Fluffy Kitten

Little ones will love discovering the different textures on each page in this story from Rod Campbell, creator of Dear Zoo. As they join the mischievous kitten for an adventure through the house, they can stroke kitten's soft fur, feel the smooth goldfish bowl and lift the tablecloth at the end to find out who is hiding underneath! 

Fluffy Chick

by Rod Campbell

Book cover for Fluffy Chick

Meet all your favourite springtime farm animals in Fluffy Chick, a fun touch-and-feel farm animal book. Follow Chick around the farm and meet all her animal friends: stroke the woolly lamb, feel the cow's smooth horns and then lift the flap at the end to find out who is hiding under mother hen's wing! From the creator of Dear Zoo, this touch-and-feel springtime story will delight babies and parents alike. 


by Campbell Books

Book cover for Peekaboo!

In Mirror Baby: Peekaboo!, little ones will meet a group of babies, just like them! The fold-out mirror is perfect for giving babies extra stimulation. Can they look in the mirror and try smiling, waving or playing peekaboo? Playing peakaboo is great fun for babies and parents, and this book offers an easy structure to get everyone engaged. 

Hello You!

by Campbell Books

Book cover for Hello You!

One of the first things babies learn to recognise is faces. In Mirror Baby: Hello You!, little ones will meet a group of babies, just like them! Perfect for early social development, this board book is complete with a fold-out mirror for extra stimulation and stunning black-and-white photography. Can your little one look in the mirror and try laughing, waving or saying night-night? 

On the Night You Were Born

by Nancy Tillman

Book cover for On the Night You Were Born

Through gentle rhyming words and magical illustrations, On The Night You Were Born captures the overwhelming love and joy felt when a new baby is born. This is a book that celebrates every baby, weaving an enchantingly beautiful depiction of the natural world, as different animals come together to welcome its newest arrival. In a sturdy board book format, this is the perfect way to let every child know just how loved they are. 

Oh Dear!

by Rod Campbell

Book cover for Oh Dear!

Buster's staying with Grandma on the farm. But where will he find the eggs for breakfast? Not in the stable – oh dear! Young children will love lifting the flaps as they turn the pages and follow Buster around the farm. From the creator of Dear Zoo, this 40th anniversary special edition is a great gift for all Rod Campbell fans. 

Goodnight Buster!

by Rod Campbell

Book cover for Goodnight Buster!

Get ready for bedtime with Buster. Join his as he has a bath, puts on his pyjamas and brushes his teeth. Complete with simple, engaging text and touch-and-feel patches to engage little one's sense, this board book is a great addition the often challenging bedtime routine. As you switch out the lights, say goodnight to Buster too! 

Trains Trains Trains!

by Donna David

Book cover for Trains Trains Trains!

Follow fifty colourful trains as they whoosh along the tracks in this rhyming book for babies and toddlers. Big trains, long trains, little trains – which are your favourites? There are five trains to spot on each page and a thrilling fold-out race at the end all complete with a super shiny foil cover and fun read-aloud text. 

Puppy, Puppy, PEEKABOO

by Campbell Books

Book cover for Puppy, Puppy, PEEKABOO

In Puppy, Puppy, PEEKABOO, babies' favourite game is brought to life with easy grab-and-pull mechanisms and a shiny mirror. With stunning illustrations by Grace Habib, open the pages to reveal the happy puppy, the shy bunny and many more adorable pets! Recommended for babies six months and up, this board book is complete with punchy colours and interactive elements.

The best cloth books for babies

My First London Bus Cloth Book

by Marion Billet

Book cover for My First London Bus Cloth Book

A very soft, very cuddly washable cloth book for babies all about London. My First London Bus has bright, simple illustrations by Marion Billet, and features a red London bus with tactile crinkly wheels on the cover. Packaged in a gorgeous gift box, this rag book is a perfect present for young babies and their parents. 

Baby's Very First Cloth Book: Faces

by Jo Lodge

Book cover for Baby's Very First Cloth Book: Faces

The high-contrast images in Baby's Very First Cloth Book: Faces are designed to help newborns focus. This bestselling cuddly cloth book also has crinkly pages for tactile fun and a mirror for stimulating the senses. Illustrated by Jo Lodge and packaged in a delightful gift box, this reissue of a bestselling cloth book makes the perfect present for new babies.

Baby's First Cloth Book: Farm

by Jo Lodge

Book cover for Baby's First Cloth Book: Farm

Also in the Baby's First Cloth Book series is Farm. Complete with the same high-contrast images and tactile pages, this is perfect for introducing infants to animals. The mirror helps to stimulate senses, while remaining a soft and cuddly cloth book. 

The best buggy books for babies

Gruffalo, What Can You Hear?

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for Gruffalo, What Can You Hear?

You're never too young to meet a Gruffalo! Specially designed to appeal to little ones, simple patterns and bright colours combine with Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's iconic words and illustrations to keep babies entertained for hours. No pram, pushchair, car seat or highchair is complete without the Gruffalo, What Can You Hear?

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Read more

Dinosaur Roar! Buggy Book

by Henrietta Stickland

Book cover for Dinosaur Roar! Buggy Book

Dinosaur Roar! Buggy Book is a special buggy-friendly edition of this modern classic so even the very youngest dinosaur fans can enjoy Henrietta and Paul Stickland's much-loved book. With rhyming text and bright, funny and lively illustrations to introduce opposites, this will keep babies entertained and engaged. 

The best bath books for babies 

Squirty Duck Bath Book

by Campbell Books

Book cover for Squirty Duck Bath Book

Squirty Duck is the perfect waterproof book for bath time! With bright and engaging illustrations from Kay Vincent and an inbuilt squirter, Squirty Duck makes bath time as much fun as possible for carers, parents and babies. Turn the pages together and read the gentle rhyming story about animals under the sea with durable and wipe-clean pages.

Squirty Fish Bath Book

by Campbell Books

Book cover for Squirty Fish Bath Book

Squirty Fish is a fun addition to bath time, along with Squirty Duck. Turn the pages as you splash to read gentle rhyming stories of animals om a pond – and squirt some water while you're at it! With waterproof and wipeable pages for good hygiene, Squirty Fish will make bath time engaging for both babies and carers.