Best soft baby books

Best soft baby books

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It's never too early to start reading to your baby. Whether you're still pregnant or have recently welcomed your little one, reading provides so many benefits, from building your baby's language and communication skills to brain development and bonding. After having researched, read, and let their babies chew on the pages, our editors created this roundup of baby-friendly books that entertain through look, touch, sound, and theme, with some fun twists like bath-time interaction and practical features for reading on the go. Together, these titles are the our site Love It winners for the best soft baby books.

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  • Soft baby book basics

    Why they're great for you and your baby

    For your baby, reading together isn't just about the experience of hearing the words out loud – it's also about the time spent physically close, the opportunity to explore colors and shapes and textures, and the art of discovery. And of course, for young babies, reading is also about one important activity: chewing on the book.

    Yup, that's right – putting things in their mouths is one way that babies learn about the world around them, so it's actually a good thing when your baby tries to munch on those pages while you are reading them. Instead of fighting it, just go with the flow and pick up some soft baby books that are safe for the occasional bite and probing little fingers.

    If you don't know where to start when it comes to reading to your baby, try incorporating a book into your nighttime routine. After a bath or change into pajamas, you and your little one can sit down and read a bedtime story. Outside of getting ready for bed, however, anytime is a good time for reading together – and these sweet, soft baby books will make story time even better.

  • Quick look

    Best soft baby books

  • Scandiborn Wee Gallery Pitter Patter Penguin Soft Book

    Baby-friendly B&W high-contrast visuals

    This adorable baby book features crinkly penguin feet for babies to touch and tickle, as well as dual-design pages – one side has black-and-white penguin images for the early days when babies see high contrast better, and the other side adds some other creatures and colors.

    Available at Amazon starting at $11.70

  • Guess How Much I Love You

    Heart-shape teething toy included

    A childhood classic with some modern twists, this book features a clip so you can attach it to a stroller or car seat to take with you on the go; a structured spine for teething; lots of crinkling fun in its pages; and an attached heart teething toy. And it's BPA-free and machine-washable.

    Available at Amazon starting at $12.99

  • HABA Animal Wash Day Magic Bath Book

    Who doesn’t like to read in the tub?

    You can bring story time into the bath with this water-safe-plastic tub book that lets your toddler "wash" away the dirt from one messy pig who was playing on the farm all day. This picture book will spark plenty of imaginative play and fun with mud that disappears when the book gets wet and reappears when dry.

    Available at Amazon starting at $7.99

  • Snuggle Pods Goodnight My Sweet Pea Book

    Sweet sleepy animals to meet

    If enjoying these peek-a-boo books as a parent is wrong, then we just don't want to be right, because watching your baby discover the adorable animals sleeping peacefully behind the flaps of this sweet goodnight book is something that never gets old.

    Available at Kohl's starting at $17.99

  • Amazing Baby Feel and Learn Soft Book

    Tantalizing textures to pat and rub

    Combine learning and reading with this book that features plenty of touch-and-feel fun. Your little one will have a blast exploring the textures of different colorful animals, like the "scales" of a fish or the softness of a tiny mouse.

    Available at Walmart starting at $9.74

  • VTech Peek and Play Baby Book

    Interactive sounds and soundbytes to fascinate babies

    With this peek-and-play book, you get all the benefits of a soft baby book – here including elephants with big ears to feel, a mischievous monkey to play with, a turtle in a tub and more animal friends to meet – along with the interactive features you'd expect from Vtech. The fun fabric buttons deliver over 50 songs, phrases, and educational insights to teach your baby all about the animals in the book.

    Available at Walmart starting at $24.76

  • Manhattan Toy Llama-Themed Soft Baby Activity Book with Squeaker, Crinkle Paper, and Baby-safe Mirror

    Babies can't keep their hands off it.

    If there's anything more exciting to a baby than seeing themselves in a mirror, we don't know what it is. (Oh, how times change when you're an adult, right?) We love this llama-themed book, the main attraction of which, thanks to a baby-proof mirror, is your little cutie. The crinkly parts and squeaker toy just sweetens the deal.

    Available at Target

  • World of Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Let's Count Clip-On Book

    Comes with you on outings

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar is Carle's baby-classic board book. This soft-book version features the same charming bright-colored bug to introduce your little one to the basics of counting in a super fun way. The baby-friendly package features a clip for a stroller or car seat attachment, teether edges, and giggle-inducing crinkle noises and squeaker.

    Available at Amazon starting at $9

  • Cloud Island Baby Book and Plush Elephant

    A book that comes with a new friend

    This little book and its accompanying plush elephant BFF are the cutest duo, and come with all the latest baby "must-haves," such as a stroller clip, high-contrast images, fun textures, and a mirror for elephant primping and, well, self-reflection.

    Available at Target starting at $9.99

  • Goodnight Moon Soft Teether Book

    You read, they teethe.

    You knew it was coming, right? But really, this beloved story captures the attention of even the littlest of listeners, and let's be honest – you probably know it so well by now you can recite it in your sleep, too.

    Available at Amazon starting at $12.84

  • Buying guide

    What to look for in soft baby books

    As you can tell from our choices above, many of the biggest, most famous titles in the history of children's books have been made into soft baby book editions – which means that you can start your search by looking for titles you enjoyed as a child or with your other children. Sharing books you love with your baby can make the experience that much more emotional and cozy, and can also help you endure the reality that you may be reading the same book over and over and over again. Picking stories you enjoy will make the readathons easier to do.

    With soft baby books, your little one will have the opportunity to really get into the book. But in all seriousness, even without words, soft books provide all the stimulation of traditional board books as well as fun additions for all the senses. Be on the lookout for plush toys, movable parts, mirrors, crinkle sounds, built-in rattles, and teething features. Some soft books are made of washable fabric, while others are made of wipe-clean plastic so they survive sticky fingers and can even go in the tub with you.

    No matter which book or books you choose for your child, sharing reading with your baby opens the door to a host of developmental milestones and a pathway to personal joy that will be there for your child their entire life. A soft baby book allows you to start this reading journey – with the peace of mind that the book won't be ruined by little hands or teeth.

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