From newborn to toddler, a baby’s first year is a busy one. As they start to engage with the world around them, their little brains are working constantly. Those early months can feel like a whirlwind of milestones, but with every baby developing at a different rate, there is one ‘first’ it is definitely worth making time to experience together: baby’s first book. So, here are our top picks for every age and stage in your baby's first year!

Books for your newborn (0-3 months)

Baby Touch: Faces: a black-and-white book

In the earliest months of a baby’s life, their vision is still developing. As their eyes adjust, they see in black and white, and high contrast colours like yellow and red; colours used across many of the books in the Baby Touch series. Baby Touch: Faces is a multi-sensory book designed to help babies’ developing eyesight, using simple images to introduce different faces and expressions, including your baby’s own.

Baby Touch: Animals: a black-and-white book

Another wonderfully tactile book from the Baby Touch series, Baby Touch: Animals is designed to stimulate vision from birth. The eye-catching, monochrome drawings of friendly farm animals will help babies develop their attention and concentration. And the textured pages also tap into little one's other senses, encouraging them to explore the pictures and learn about the animals.

Things That Go: Baby Touch First Focus

Cars, boats, trucks, trains and more – Things That Go: Baby Touch First Focus introduces a range of different vehicles using the signature style of the Baby Touch series. This book will help encourage baby’s developing eyesight, and with a peephole on every page and lots of different vehicle noises to make, this is a lovely book to explore together.

Books for your infant (3-6 months)

Baby Touch: Tummy Time

Tummy time – placing a baby on their stomach for up to ten minutes at a time – has been shown to be beneficial in a number of ways, including strengthening the head, neck and back, and developing key motor skills. Keeping a baby entertained during tummy time is another matter though, but this sturdy board book has the answer. With lots of bright colours, textures and peepholes to explore, the pages of Baby Touch: Tummy Time can be tied together using a ribbon, making it easy to use even when your baby is on their tummy.

Baby Touch: Peekaboo

This lift-the-flap book – another favourite from Ladybird’s Baby Touch series – is fantastically tactile, with bright, bold, eye-catching illustrations and a range of different textures to see and feel. The large flaps are perfect for a game of peekaboo, encouraging young babies to interact with the images as they start to learn about the world around them.

Baby Touch: Playbook

With lots of pictures to look at, holes to peek through, textures to explore and even a mirror to study, this touch-and-feel playbook features friendly animals and engaging characters of all shapes and sizes, from elephants to bees. This is a fantastic book to look at with your 3-6-month-old, encouraging them to interact with the textures and flaps as you explore the pages together.

Books for your baby (6-12 months)

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep: Ladybird Touch and Feel Rhymes

This collection features five animal nursery rhymes, with Baa, Baa, Black Sheep; Incy Wincy Spider; This Little Piggy; Hickory Dickory Dock; and Little Bo Peep all included. Beautifully illustrated and with a range of textures to explore, this brightly coloured interactive board book also has a question to go with every rhyme, making it a great book for older babies. Sing, share and discover music together – this is sure to become a lasting family favourite.

Baby Touch: Vehicles Tab Book

Little ones will love this touch-and-feel tab book from the Baby Touch series. From cars and trains to fire engines and helicopters, each page features a different vehicle to find and name – great for introducing older babies to new vehicles, noises and words. And, with its bright illustrations and stimulating textured designs, there’s also lots for little hands to explore.

Baby Touch: Animals Tab Book

Use the animal-shaped tabs to turn the pages of this book and introduce your baby to some friendly animals, including penguins, frogs and lions. Robust enough to withstand even the most enthusiastic young reader, this board book features big touch-and-feel areas to stroke and wonderful pictures to talk about. Each page talks about different types of animals, from pets to farmyard creatures to those that live under the sea, making it a great first-word book.

Gift books for new arrivals

123: A Ladybird Vintage Board Book

With its beautifully detailed original pictures, this sturdy board book would make a great gift as it gently introduces little ones to their numbers using Ladybird’s iconic vintage artwork. The striking and colourful images of everyday objects – including cars, shoes, pencils and building blocks – are a wonderful visual aid, helping young children begin to recognise both the shape of the numerals and the words of the numbers. This book also introduces the idea of counting by asking the question: ‘how many?’ 

Baby Touch: Colours

This touch-and-feel playbook celebrates all the colours of the rainbow and would make a beautiful addition to any nursery bookshelf. Part of the Baby Touch range, this is a board book designed to be used from birth, encouraging interaction and play even for very young babies. Toddlers will also enjoy learning all about the colours and exploring the different sensations and textures on each page.

Baby Touch: Shapes

This engaging book makes a perfect gift for baby’s first year. Its bold colours and interesting textures will appeal to young babies, stimulating their senses and encouraging them to interact with the touch-and-feel panels on every double-page. As they get older, little explorers will find there is even more to discover as they start to learn about shapes, including squares, circles, triangles and stars.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star: Ladybird Touch and Feel Rhymes

Many experts – and parents – believe a good bedtime routine is a key part of encouraging good sleep habits, and what better way to lull baby to sleep than with a favourite nursery rhyme? This collection features five much-loved bedtime songs, including Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star; Wee Willie Winkie; Hush-a-bye, Baby; Hey Diddle Diddle; and Rock-a-bye, Baby. Friendly characters and stimulating textures also encourage babies to engage with the pictures, as well as the songs.

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