Great Baby Books For Speech & Language Development

Great Baby Books

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When my girls were babies I loved reading to them! It was a special bonding time and I knew it was supporting their early speech and language and literacy development. A win-win! As a Speech Pathologist, I love incorporating books into therapy because they provide tons of learning opportunities. There are many wonderful books for babies out there and I wanted to share some of my favorites for building early communication skills.

1.Where is Baby’s Belly Button? by: Karen Katz: This book was a favorite in my house and still is! My girls loved opening the flaps, which now after years of reading are pretty worn down (the true sign of a loved book).

Here are some concepts in the book that support speech and language development:

  • Prepositions (behind, under, etc.)
  • Body parts (eyes, hands, etc.)
  • Vocabulary words (hat, cup, bubbles, etc.)
  • “Where” questions

2. Guess How Much I Love You by: Sam McBratney: This sweet story is all about the love between a parent and a child. Sharing books like this is a great bonding experience and reading to babies from the start is so important for their later development.

Here are some concepts in the book that support speech and language development:

  • Exposure to figurative language (e.g. “I love you as high as I can reach”)
  • Encourages bonding (learning is built on a foundation of love and trust with caregivers)
  • Positive language and a message of love

3. Pat the Bunny by: Dorothy Kunhardt: This book was published in 1940 and obviously has staying power because it’s still a favorite of many! My girls loved patting the bunny and smelling the flowers.

Here are some concepts in the book that support speech and language development:

  • Encourages baby to explore through his sense of touch
  • Provides opportunities for following simple directions
  • Has a built in peek-a-boo game, which is great for back and forth interaction
  • Exposes baby to early developing speech sounds like “p” in “pat” and “b” in “bunny”

4. That’s Not My Monster by: Fiona Watt: What a fun way to explore textures and learn great vocabulary words to label these textures. This book is bright, silly, and fun. My girls still love this book and often laugh at the silly descriptions of the monsters!

Here are some concepts in the book that support speech and language development:

  • Encourages baby to explore through her sense of touch
  • Lots of great adjectives to describe the textures in the book
  • Bright colors and silly monster pictures are fun to look at and talk about
  • There’s a little mouse on each page and you can talk about where it is hiding (targets prepositions- “on” the monsters head, etc.)

5. Baby Touch and Feel Animals by: DK Publishing: I love animal books that have real pictures that help babies build background knowledge about animals.

Here are some concepts in the book that support speech and language development:

  • Animal names and pictures
  • Textures to touch and describe
  • Animal sounds that are great for exposing baby to early developing speech sounds and are often part of young children’s early vocabulary development

6. First 100 Words by: Roger Priddy: This is a great book that contains lots of vocabulary words and real-life pictures to show what these words look like!

Here are some concepts in the book that support speech and language development:

  • Vocabulary words to label (and have baby point to as he gets older) to support expressive and receptive vocabulary development
  • The photos are of real images, so you can point out things in your environment that look like the photos to give baby another example of that item
  • The book is broken down by category (“at home,” “colors,” “food,” etc.), which helps children learn to sort things by their type

7. Baby Signs by: Joy Allen: Baby sign language can be a tool to help babies learn to request things they want or need.

Here are some concepts in the book that support speech and language development:

  • Signs for “more,” “all done,” “water,” etc.
  • Illustrations of the baby doing the signs to request what she wants on each page and a description for parents on the bottom of the page

8. Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada by: Jimmy Fallon: This is a fun book about daddy animals trying to get their babies to say, “dada.”

Here are some concepts in the book that support speech and language development:

  • This book is great because it models early developing speech sounds like, “d,” “m,” and “b”
  • Basic concepts like big and small/ baby and daddy animals
  • Animal sounds, “moo,” “baa,” etc.

9. Peek-a-Boo Forest by: Lamaze: I love this soft book with different textures because its fun for baby to explore!

Here are some concepts in the book that support speech and language development.

  • Fun peek-a-boo flaps to lift
  • Rhyming words
  • “wh” questions and answers
  • Animals to name

10. Baby Faces by: Amy Pixton: According to Amazon, this book is “Indestructible”  (100 percent baby-proof, chew-proof, rip-proof, and drool-proof, printed on a unique nontoxic, paperlike material that holds up) and washable!!

Here are some concepts in the book that support speech and language development. Talk to baby about:

  • Babies love to look at pictures of baby faces!
  • Action words: eating, crying kissing
  • Feelings: sad, excited, happy, silly
  • Body parts: face, hands, eyes, mouth, nose
  • Model the words in the book, “boo-hoo, yum-yum, hurray” and show baby the facial expressions that go with these

Great Baby Books For Speech & Language Development

What are your favorite baby books?


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