The Best Baby Books 2019: for Mindfulness + Wellness
From beautiful board books and baby book subscriptions to indestructible books that babies can’t ruin, this roundup of the best baby books to add to your library covers important wellness and cultural topics like mindfulness, manners, wellness, self-worth, historical figures, and travel, along with more classic themes like animal sounds, bedtime and colors. Whether you’re looking for books for infants and babies under one or for toddlers, or for boys or for girls, this is a must-have collection of unique books that parents and children alike are bound to love.
As a self-professed book worm, I wanted my son to learn at an early age that reading is fun, important, and something to look forward to.
There are a gazillion baby books out there, so when I started putting together a list of which ones I wanted to buy, it got me thinking… Sure, I love the classics like Where the Wild Things Are, Pout Pout Fish and Goodnight Moon, but I also wanted to introduce Jackie to other topics that are near and dear to my heart.
I want him to have self-worth and self-esteem. I want him to feel his feelings and learn how to manage his emotions in a healthy, mindful way. I want him to know his family loves him no matter what. I want him to be a gentleman and a feminist and have manners and treat others with kindness and respect. I want him to understand history, appreciate culture and accept people of all different races, family types, and backgrounds. Were there books that could teach him about hard topics like anxiety, gay marriage and courageous women who changed the world?
Wouldn’t you know, there are a whole slew of baby books focused on these exact topics! I have to admit, I’ve even learned a lot reading with Jackie. Who says baby books are just for babies 😉
Regardless of what you choose to read your baby, please promise that you will read them something. Important cognitive skills develop as your baby grows, and books help your child learn how to talk and tell stories long before they can read.
In fact, babies whose mothers talk to them often develop much higher vocabularies compared to those whose mothers’ have lower levels of speech, and reading to babies is shown to develop better early literacy skills. (source; source)
It also facilitates bonding time between baby and parent (this is why we started reading to Jackson when he was just a few days old), and opens up the world around them, giving context to their experiences.
So it’s not just about the content within the books, but regularly reading with your baby is going to help them learn and develop skills beyond just the lessons taught in the book.
Ohh… and did I mention that we also have a giveaway of baby books?!?! We have 25 books worth $405 comin’ atchya! Scroll to the bottom to enter or click here!
The Best Baby Books 2019
Hello, World Series: London, Paris, New York + San Francisco by Ashley Evanson
This gorgeous board book series is whimsical yet tangible; it does a great job of combining teachings about the world and the featured city and country, while also focusing on learning literacy, shapes, and colors. These charming yet hip books pair early learning concepts with colorful, stylish illustrations of the iconic art, architecture, food, and culture of cities around the world.
I love any way that I can introduce an early love of travel and culture to Jackson, and these books do just that (and selfishly it whisks me away to foreign lands that I love so much!).
The series includes Paris: A Book of Shapes, London: A Book of Opposites, New York: A Book of Colors, and San Francisco: A Book of Numbers. Coming Fall 2019: Tokyo: A Book of Senses and Rio: A Book of Sounds.
Indestructibles Series by Workman Publishing Co.
These books are such a simple, yet brilliant idea! They’re built for the way babies “read”–with their hands and mouths.
That means these books are not only chew-proof, rip-proof, and drool-proof, they’re printed on a unique 100% non-toxic, paperlike material that holds up to anything babies can throw at it (teething, spilling, or dragging across the floor). If they get dirty, just wash them off. This makes them a perfect travel book, too!
Not only do I adore that they’re made from safe materials, I like the size and weight of these books; they have the slimness of a paperback but the durability of a board book. I also love how the stories are a mix of old favorites and new alike; there are 31 books in the series so far, everything from classics like Old Macdonald Had a Farm and Mary Had A Little Lamb, to completely new ones made specifically for babies. I have The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Row, Row, Row Your Boat + Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.
Note that these books intentionally have just a few, simple words as opposed to a lot of text, meant to encourage natural dialogue between parent and child, so you can make up what you’re saying each time to be different, go faster or slower, etc.
I Am Series by Susan Verde + Peter Reynold
These darling books pose a hopeful look at what it means to be a connected human in this wide world. They provide simple, affirming text for emotional wellness and skills like empathy and compassion.
For example, I Am Human: A Book of Empathy shows that it’s okay to make mistakes, while also emphasizing the power of good choices by offering a kind word or a smile or by saying “I’m sorry.” The books shows how we’re all imperfect, yet strong together.
What Do You Do With A… Series by Kobi Yamada
This New York Times bestsellers series is all about embracing life, overcoming fears and insecurities, and encouraging young readers to take chances, while teaching that the full range of feelings is what makes us human.
For example, What Do You Do With an Idea? tells the story of a child with a brilliant idea that’s different and daring. Ultimately, it inspires you to welcome that idea, to give it space to grow, and to see what happens next. As an entrepreneur, these books really resonate with me.
These books were at the top of my wishlist! Not only are they unbelievably adorable and cuddly with the little snuggly animals that are included, but they’re crafted with intention and plant the seeds of emotional wellness from an early age through their stories and focus on intimate, authentic connections.
In fact, each book was developed by a therapist and educator using research-based techniques and interventions–how cool is that? Each snuggler + book bundle is intended to promote positive life skills and create loving routines for caregivers to bond with their little ones.
Plus, all Slumberkins snugglers are safety tested and ASTM certified at the highest level, which is paramount in this product category of children’s toys. They also don’t have any small, detachable plastic pieces that could get caught in your baby’s mouth or throat.
I would recommend the following books for new babies based on their storylines that promote relaxation, family bonding, and self-esteem:
- The Slumber Sloth story promotes sleeps, relaxation, and helps manage anxiety. Using progressive muscle relaxation, children learn to relax their bodies and minds before bed.
- Hartley reminds children that you are always in their heart, whether near or far away. This story introduces the concept that family bonds are created by the love we feel in our hearts.
- This Self-Esteem Bundle includes a Bigfoot snuggler, keepsake affirmation card, and a board book. Bigfoot’s heartwarming story of acceptance and strength encourages self-esteem, while the interactive affirmations teaches little ones how to say positive things about themselves, providing an early foundation of confidence and self-worth.
Literati Books, an Award-Winning Kids Book Club
I love the idea of a book club for babies! With Literati, for just $9.95 a month you get a package with a new theme, like science or friendship, that includes five age-appropriate books, six personalized book plates, original art by a famous illustrator, a personalized note and themed surprise extras.
Then you have a week to explore the books and pick your favorites, buying the books you love (price matched or cheaper than on Amazon) and returning the rest. It’s such a fun way to explore new books, without having to buy before you read.
Literati offers four different clubs options across ages 0-9 so you can customize it for your desired age range. With Jackson being 6 months, I went for the Club Neo, intended for 0-3 years old. Their books are inspiring, creative, beautiful, aspirational, and educational all at once.
Want to give it a try? Waive your first month’s membership fee using the code RRLIT! (a $9.95 value)
This Little Collection by Joan Holub
Want to inspire leadership in your child? This collection of board books highlights the most influential presidents, explorers, female trailblazers, and scientists, introducing your babe to some of the most empowering figures in history.
I genuinely enjoyed reading all of the fun facts! I think it’s something that Jackie will find interesting as he gets older, making these books perfect for toddlers, with just enough educational value to capture the attention span of kids at that age.
Little Heroes Series by Heidi Poelman + 100 First Words Series
Familius Publishing–the creators behind both of these series–is completely focused on publishing books that help families foster happiness through topics like loving, laughing, playing, healing and eating.
I love the Little Heroes books like Amazing Animals Who Changed the World Courageous People Who Changed the World and Inventors Who Changed the World that tell stories of famous people and animals who have changed the world to make it a better place like Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Orville and Wilbur Wright, and Leonardo da Vinci.
The 100 First Words series is for kids learning their first words, for parents who want to infuse a creative vocabulary from the onset! Pick from 100 First Words for Little Artists, 100 First Words for Little Geeks, and 100 First Words for Little Geniuses.
Mumablue personalized books
A story featuring your very own son or daughter? Yes please!
This company has books for kids at every reading level, from beginners to advanced readers, that you can personalize. It’s SO easy too! Simply write the name of the character, personalize their appearance, add a picture and a dedication, and conveniently receive it at your home.
Their hardback books feature 44 full-color pages, a laminated gloss stain-repellent, extra strong binding, and a dedication.
I opted for their stories Bubbles which covers topics like fears, confidence, friendship, and Adventures in Alaska, focusing on empathy, self-esteem, and bullying.
Hello Genius Series by Michael Dahl + Little Boost Series (Various Artists)
Both of these series by Capstone Publishing are adorable and simple. These board books help toddlers learn important social skills, teaching things like manners or how to calm down from a tantrum or how to listen.
From the Little Boost series, I have The Picky Eater, You Get What You Get, and The Messy One. I love that these stories are fun and keep Jackie’s attention, while subtly imparting wisdom and life lessons.
Mindful Mantras Series by Laurie Wright
With sweet titles like I Can Handle It!, I Matter, I Will Be Okay!, I’m Proud of Myself!, and I Believe in Myself!, I’m in love with these useful books from author Laurie Wright who gives us adults the language needed to provide emotional support to our kids, while at the same time inspiring confidence in our children, boosting their positive self-talk through mantras, and instilling their capacities to handle life’s ups and downs.
The repetitive books have children repeating the mantras immediately. There are touching reviews of parents who report that their kids using these mantras after reading, and counselors who report the books being very useful in sessions, and teachers who report that they LOVE to use these books in classrooms.
The Questioneers Series by Andrea Beaty
This New York Times bestseller series tells the stories of Rosie Revere and her friends Iggy Peck and Ada Twist through themes like pursuing your passion with persistence, learning to celebrate each failure on the road, achieving your dreams, the power of teamwork and the true meaning of home.
These new chapter books are based on the original picture books, so depending on your child’s age, I’d recommend the picture books for babies and the chapter books for grades K-2.
My favorite thing about these books is that they highlight women in non-traditional roles like engineers, architects, and scientists. I think it’s important to include progressive and well-rounded stories like this, since–while I love tales of princesses and superheroes as much as the next person–it’s not going to apply in real life down the road.
The Questioneers series includes Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters, Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants, Ada Twist’s Big Project Book for Stellar Scientists, Iggy Peck’s Big Project Book for Amazing Architects, and Rosie Revere’s Big Project Book for Bold Engineers.
What are your favorite children and baby books? Let us know your picks in the comments below!
Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser
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