17 Books Every Parent Should Read To Their Child Before Their First Birthday

17 Books Every Parent Should Read To Their Child Before Their First Birthday

The importance of introducing children to books from an early age can't be overstated. It helps them to understand how language works, which is vital as they learn how to speak and, later down the line, write, but perhaps most importantly of all, it teaches them the value of stories: giving them the knowledge that their hopes, dreams, and fears are universal.

When I was a kid, I was absolutely petrified of trees at night. In the winter, their spindly branches looked like hands that were reaching out to grab me, and when my mom read Snow White to me for the first time, I realized that there was nothing irrational about my fear of forests and, for that matter, hunched old ladies with crooked noses and wicked laughs!

So, without further ado, here are 17 books every parent should read to their child before their first birthday:

1. 'Goodnight Moon' by Margaret Wise Brown

Credit: Clement Hurd

Before children are old enough to properly understand the beauty of words, picture books appeal to them the most. But this book is also a classic because of its sweet words and easy to understand short sentences. Perfect for babies!

It's available to purchase here.

2. 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle

Credit: Philomel Books

This was one of my favorite childhood books - and for good reason! Not only has it got plenty of illustrations that will appeal to very young children, but it's full of educational information that will challenge their young minds too (like counting)!

Get a copy for your little angel here.

3. 'The Going To Bed Book' by Sandra Boynton

Credit: Little Simon

The most important lesson that we have to teach children under one is arguably the importance of going to bed. And you can make the job a lot easier for you (and fun for your little one) with this beautifully illustrated silly book.

Available for purchase here.

4. 'First 100 Words' by Roger Priddy

Credit: Priddy Books

This book quite literally does what it says on the tin. Better still, the words enclosed are perfect for babies!

Get a copy for your tot here.

5. 'The Wonderful Things You Will Be' by Emily Winfield Martin

Credit: Random House Books for Young Readers

We parents spend a lot of time dreaming about our kids' futures, so why not let them know about all the wonderful possibilities that the future might hold with this gorgeous book?

Purchase this beautiful tearjerker here.

(Tearjerker for parents only, of course. Babies will just enjoy it!)

6. 'Pat The Bunny' by Dorothy Kunhardt

Credit: Golden Books

If there's one thing babies love more than illustrated books, it's touch and feel books. That's why this book is a classic. It's crammed full of different textures that your baby will love running their hands over!

Available for purchase here.

7. 'Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA' by Jimmy Fallon

Credit: Miguel Ordóñez

Your baby's first word is one of the most highly anticipated events of their young life, and parents vie to have them say their name. This book is beautifully illustrated for them, and it comes with the bonus of being a hilarious read for you too!

Get a copy here.

8. 'Go The F**k To Sleep' by Adam Mansbach

Credit: Ricardo Cortés

Because let's face it, most parents will say this to their baby at least once during their first year of life. The great thing about this book is that it's designed for children too young to realize that saying f*ck repeatedly isn't something they should do!

To encourage your baby to go the f*ck to sleep, buy a copy here.

9. 'Where The Wild Things Are' by Maurice Sendak

This is one of the best children's stories around, and this book is a great introduction for the youngest of readers.

Available to purchase here.

10. 'Whistle For Willie' by Ezra Jack Keats

Credit: Viking Books for Young Readers

If you're looking for a children's book with particularly vivid illustrations that your baby will love, this is the story for you.

See the popping colors for yourself by buying a copy here.

11. 'Madeline' by Ludwig Bemelmans

Credit: The Viking Press

The best thing about literature is often the sounds which come hand in hand with many stories. This a great example as it's full of rhyming that your baby will love. Better still, as is cover demonstrates, it has got gorgeous illustrations too.

Discover its brilliance for yourself here.

12. 'On The Night You Were Born' by Nancy Tillman

Credit: Feiwel & Friends

You never forget your child's birth for all the right reasons. Sure, it's likely to be painful if you're actually giving birth, but the rush of love that you feel afterward makes it all worthwhile. So why not relive that with this wonderful book?

Available for purchase here.

13. 'Where's Spot?' by Eric Hill

Credit: Eric Hill

Touch and feel books are one thing, but another that helps to satisfy the natural curiosity of young children are flap books and this one is a great example. Let them take part in the story themselves by quite literally finding out what happens next.

This interactive book is available for purchase here.

14. 'Guess How Much I Love You' by Sam McBratney

Credit: Anita Jeram

This is another heartwarming children's book that you can use to let your baby know just how much they mean to you.

Get a copy here.

15. 'What A Wonderful World' by Bob Thiele & George David Weiss

Credit: Tim Hopgood

Louis Armstrong is a genius - and on top of beautiful illustrations, babies absolutely love music!

Find out why it's so great for yourself here.

16. 'The Tale Of Peter Rabbit' by Beatrix Potter

Credit: Warne

Beatrix Potter's books have been children's classics for generations and perhaps her most beloved character is Peter Rabbit. Introduce your baby to this world of charming animals - and the villainous Mr. McGregor! - from an early age.

Available for purchase here.

17. 'My First Winnie-The-Pooh' By A. A. Milne

Credit: Ernest H. Shepard

Another classic children's tale that babies should be introduced to as young as possible is Winnie-The-Pooh. This is a specially made version for babies that consists of ten verses that your little one will be able to enjoy and hopefully understand.

Available for purchase here.

So, whether you're a parent who wants to tell your baby to go the f*ck to sleep without feeling bad about it or someone who wants to win the race with dad to be the parent whose name your baby says first, there's a book out there for you. Plus, think of how grateful - or tickled - your little angel will be when you tell them what you read together before their first birthday!