Mother and Baby

The best books to buy for 1 and 2 year olds

Section: Shopping Ideas
Baby reading book

Reading to your baby is one of the best things that you can do for them for many different reasons, and they're never too little to start having a reading hour - no matter how tricky it might be to keep them engaged.

If you haven't had your baby yet, reading to them is a great way for you to bond with your bump and to help recognise your voice after birth. Reading can help build your child's attention span and enhance their listening and thinking skills, and help them to develop social skills as well as their understanding of different objects and colours. 

Even if you have to encourage your one year old with a snack, reading has a lot of benefits for their development. 

Take a look at our top picks of books for children aged one to two years:

The classic story of a very hungry Caterpillar, who literally eats his way through the book.

This book is full of pictures, objects to name and simple questions that are perfect for your curious toddler.

Where's Mr Dog?

£4.71 - RRP: £6.99

The felt flaps in this book will withstand enthusiastic toddlers! They'll love trying to find the friendly pets hiding on each page.

Dear Zoo

£4.00 - RRP: £6.99

This book is great for toddlers to guess what animal is behind the flap, as they try and find the perfect pet. 

Featuring all your little one's favourite characters from the deep dark wood, these bold and bright books will help them to learn about colours, numbers and animals.

Oh Dear!

£5.77 - RRP: £6.99

Follow Buster around the farm and help him find the eggs for his breakfast. Children will love the bold artwork, and the chunky book makes it easier for little hands to hold.

First word books are very important in teaching little ones. The lift up flaps are big enough for your tot to grab too, and it's a fun, vibrant way to teach them their first words.

This delightful book will introduce classic nursery rhymes that little ones will love listening too and singing along. It has lift up flaps and touch and feel patches too.

This book is a fun way to teach young children about different body parts and they'll love pointing out where the baby's eyes, nose and hands are.

The perfect book to introduce little ones to the world of Roald Dahl, this book on opposites is beautifully illustrated with lots of fun pictures and lift up flaps.


£5.99 - RRP: £6.99

A classic book for babies and toddlers, it follows a baby through their day with a series of holes peeping through to the next page, giving a hint of what's to come next.

Where's Spot?

£4.89 - RRP: £6.99

Is he behind the piano? No! Lift each flap to find where cheeky Spot has been hiding.

This colourful book supports your little one in learning words. From dog, to ball and car, the words are hidden behind flaps that children can interact with. 

This gorgeous picture book is perfect for reading to little ones at bedtime! Little Nutbrown Hare and Big NutBrown Hare express how much they love each other in the sweetest ways. 

Touch and tickle the textures with your baby and help them to learn about different animals. From soft cuddly kittens to scaly lizards, they'll love learning as they read. 

Top tips for reading to your baby:

1) Have a special place to read

Whether you choose to read in a special chair in the house or when you tuck them up in bed at night, having a designated 'reading area' is a good way for your baby to pick up on social queues of when it is time to read. It will eventually become part of their little routine and they'll start looking forward to it each day.

2) Let them choose their own book

If they are able to, let them choose their favourite book for you to read to them! It might feel a little repetative if they choose the same book each time, but repetition is how babies learn.

3) Involve your baby in reading

Hold your baby close while you read to them, that way they will feel comfortable cuddled up to you and they'll be able to see the book, too. They might not understand what's going on in the story, but you can encourage them to get involved by talking to them about what's on the page or pointing out different animals, objects and colours, or even interact with it if it's an interactive book with flaps or sound buttons.

4) Don't give up!

Sometimes, it's not always easy to read a book, especially if your little one is tired, restless or more interested in something else. But the important thing is to not give up! Keep encouraging them to sit with you, and even if they won't, continue to read the book as normal because they might come back to join in reading and they'll pick up on the fact you've not put the book down yourself. 

5) Buy colourful books

When buying books for your child, choose books with bright colours and lots of illustration as it will attract their attention a lot more. Thick pages so that they're easy for your little one to hold and turn pages are also a good idea, as well as the story being simple and repetative.

What are your baby's favourite books? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Why not join thousands of mums and start your very own Amazon Baby Wish List? They're absolutely free to create and perfect to send to your family, friends, and colleagues to make sure you're getting the baby products you really need... Click here!

  • Author: Samantha Ball Samantha Ball
  • Job Title: Freelance writer

Samantha is a mum of one, in a house full of boys. Her hobbies are long hikes, coffee tasting, and being a bit of an *obsessive* cleaner.

She also runs a blog Student Mum Diaries about what it’s like to be a student mum. 


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