How can you help your baby learn from a very early age? What are the best books for baby brain development? What are the best books for babies under six months?
The best books for babies under 6 months expose your baby to new words, sing-song stories capture their attention, and black and white or brightly colored pictures with high contrast help their visual development.
As we learned about in the posts about infant visual development and the best learning apps for infants, from 0-2 months, your baby can see primarily in black and white, making high contrast images perfect for story time. At two to four months, your baby will be able to distinguish bright colors. Then, they will begin reaching for things that grab their attention around three to four months and beginning to improve their hand-eye coordination. Around six months, your baby’s sight is about as good as an adult’s.
And as for hearing, at birth, your newborn has a preference for higher-pitched sounds. During their first six months, their ears are developing the ability to hear the same range of things an adult can hear. And their brains are beginning to make the connections between sounds and the people and things who make them, and the meanings of sounds, tone, and cadence in language.
Reading with your baby makes a great activity at any time and any age. You can make reading part of your baby’s bedtime routine.
These make unique books for baby showers. I always see Goodnight Moon, Love You Forever, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear given as gifts at baby showers. But I rarely see these high- contrast books given as gifts.
Most of these books have ten pages or less. Short books are perfect as your baby does not have a long attention span. And board books or cloth books are great in case your baby decides they’d rather chew the book!
High Contrast Books for Babies Under 6 Months
Black on White by Tana Hoban
Black on White by Tana Hoban has big black and white pictures for your baby to look at. The book is available in hardcover or as a board book. This book does not have words, just pictures. But infants find the black and white images fascinating and love staring at them. This is a perfect book for the youngest of babies as their brains and eyes are developing the ability to understand the world!
My First Soft Books
My First Soft Books: This set of three black and white soft cloth books have high contrast pictures of letters, numbers, animals,and shapes. Each book is ten pages long. You can also use this type of book to capture your baby’s attention during tummy time or use them as flash cards.
Look Look! by Peter Linenthal
Look, Look is a board book that features black and white images with red text. Simple sentences will capture your baby’s attention even beyond the newborn stage!
Rhyming and sing song books
Finally, some books with bright colors and a little (but not much) content!
One Fish, Two Fish, Three, Four, Five, Fish!
One Fish, Two Fish, Three, Four, Five Fish is a shortened board book version of the classic Dr. Seuss One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. It has bright pictures, and fish toys at the top of the book so you can count along with what’s happening in the story! I love that this gives both parents and their babies a new way to interact during story time! It is only 6 pages long, so some parents love that they are done reading it quickly, but others felt it was too short.
Dinosaur Dance by Sandra Boynton
Dinosaur Dance is one of my favorite books to read to my daughter. It rhymes and has a great rhythm. We bounce and dance while we read about what dance moves each dinosaur does!
Quantum Physics for Babies
Quantum Physics for Babies is my absolute favorite nerd book to read at bedtime. The explanations in this board book are simple enough that even a sleep deprived parent can understand them! It has brightly colored pictures teaching you about atoms, electrons, and energy. I loved getting this book at my baby shower! My only quibble with this book is that they teach your baby about the Bohr model of the atom, not the valence shell atom model.
Babies love hearing the sound of their parent’s voices. And it’s important that you enjoy the book too since you will be reading it over and over, and your baby can tell if you aren’t having fun!
I like to make a game or song of story time, point to the things on the pages, count them, and tell my baby about what she’s seeing. How do you keep reading fun for you and your baby? What unique books do you like to give at baby showers?