Like many a bookish mom, the first baby items I bought for my little one were books. Picture books, board books, classics, contemporary, just about everything. But I forgot to stock my baby’s library with soft books. Thankfully, she received a few as gifts, and now that I see how much she enjoys them, I’ve since bought her more.
As my baby grows, she plays with her soft books in different ways. When she was first beginning to touch and feel the things around her, she loved the crinkly pages. What a surprise! As her hands became more agile and she could actually grasp toys, she loved grabbing and shaking and playing peek-a-boo with them. Once she started teething, they became her teethers. And now that she’s actually enjoying bath time (she hated it at first), she loves splish-splashing with her bath time soft books. I know that once she’s a toddler she’ll enjoy playing with activity soft books, but for now, she’s practicing turning pages and chewing on them (she’s nine months old).
Because I know how much fun these books are for babies, I’ve rounded up 25 of the best soft books for you and your little one(s).
Book Riot (and myself) always strives to make these lists as diverse as possible. I ran into problems finding diverse authors and illustrators to include on this list, mainly because most soft books are produced by a company and have no authors, but also because there’s a lack of classic, diverse picture books being adapted into the soft book format. There’s definitely room for improvement here, but I was glad to find several newer, beautiful soft books by Surya Sajnani, as well as a few others.
Classic Soft Books For BAbies
Guess How Much I Love You Soft Teether Book by Sam McBratney
Your baby can chew and play with this one while you cry-read the hardback. (Just me?)
Nat and Jules On The Night You Were Born Soft Story by Nancy Tillman
Rioter Jaime Herndon’s son loves this soft book. I know I enjoy the story, so I’ll have to pick up the soft book.
The crinkly pages on this one make it a big hit. Also, there’s some irony in owning a version meant to be chewed on.
Are You My Mother? Cloth Book by P.D. Eastman
Complete with chewable baby bird.
In addition to having crinkle pages and a squeaker, the spine is a teether. It’s the only soft book I’ve seen with a teether spine.
Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? Cloth Book adapted by Roger Priddy
You can make the animal noises while your baby chews on it.
Soft Book Infant Favorites
Skip Hop has several interactive soft books. Another really cool one by Skip Hop is Skip Hop Vibrant Village Peek & Play Activity Book, which turns into a little house! Rioter Jen Sherman recommended these to me.
All sorts of textured tails are attached to this soft book, perfect for little fingers and mouths. Jellycat makes multiple tail options for you to choose from.
But maybe your baby would rather chew on some feet? I know my baby likes chewing on feet.
In addition to being a soft, interactive book, this one plays music and lights up. VTech toys are some of my baby’s favorites.
Baby’s First Cloth Book: Zoo by Lisa Jones and Edward Underwood
A colorful and bright soft book, with lots of options for parents to make funny animal noises while reading.
You Are My Cupcake by Joyce Wan
Another food-themed soft book to be chewed on! Yum yum cupcakes.
Friendly Faces in the Garden: Baby’s First Soft Book by Surya Sajnani
The black and white illustrations are perfect for newborns.
Part stuffed animal, part book, this soft book is cuddly and sure to be a favorite.
Classic soft books with tags and crinkly pages.
This was my baby’s personal favorite soft book for her first few months. She liked playing peek-a-boo with it!
Handmade or personalized Soft Books For Babies
Whoozit Photo Album Soft Cloth Book by Manhattan Toy
My 9-month-old LOVES looking at pictures of herself right now. A soft book photo album is a perfect way to keep her happy for 15 minutes. (Maybe I should try giving it to her during diaper changes, so she will sit still for 2 minutes, please…)
Cuddle Book from I LOVe Saturday Morning
Another photo album, but this one is completely customizable, and the designer adds the photos for you. The designer has lots of options, and these are truly lovely and would make great keepsakes.
Handmade Cloth Books by Pieni Ankka
I love the rich colors of the fabric, and the designer also has many options.
Quiet Book by Viktoriya Desvarreux
A clever name for a soft book that will keep your baby or toddler busy as they fiddle with the activities on each page. The creator has many options ranging greatly in price, so check the price before you buy.
Science Soft Books by Verdant Violet
10 science-themed soft books for your future scientist!
Want to make your own soft book? Noialand has some amazing pattern options. (This LRRH option is my favorite.)
Bath Time Soft Books For Babies
These are my baby’s favorites for bath time, especially the Elmo book, because, of course. Babies LOVE Elmo.
Water, Water Everywhere: A Splash & Giggle Bath Book by Julie Aigner-Clark, illustrated by Nadeem Zaidi
Baby Einstein makes a lot of excellent bath time soft books.
Color Me: Who’s in the Water? by Surya Sajnani
This is so clever—the pages change color when they’re wet! There are multiple animals to choose from.
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