8 of the best cloth books for babies

cloth books for babies

by Emily Gilbert |
Updated on

We all know that the benefits of reading children's books to and with your baby are humongous but there’s something to be said for introducing your little one to cloth books too. Rather than helping them to read, a cloth book (typically made of cloth or polyester) is suitable right from birth and is a fantastic tool that helps to develop babies sensory skills.

Usually brightly coloured or in black and white, studies have found that high contrast baby books help stimulate development in the retina and the optic nerve, activating your tot's brain. The pages of cloth books for babies have different textures and features such as mirrors that encourage their curiosity. Plus, because cloth books are soft and non-toxic, you won’t need to worry about your child attempting to gnaw or rip them.

The best cloth books at a glance:

•Best for sensory play: beiens Soft Toys Baby Cloth Book - View offer on Amazon
•Best for machine washing: Jo & Nic's Crinkly Cloth Books Crinkly Newspaper - View offer on Kidly
•Best for wet play: Colour Me Bath Book - View offer on Amazon

If you're after a cloth book for your baby, you're in luck! We've got eight fantastic options for you to choose from. Check them out below.

The best cloth books for babies

Best for sensory play

beiens-Soft-Toys

Rrp: $16.99

Price: $12.99

Available in three different themes: jungle, farm and rainforest, this is a part cloth book, part toy that your baby is bound to love. The bright colours will catch their attention and the crinkle feature and squeaker sound will improve baby's audio recognition and motor skills while the textured animal tails provide sensory interaction.

One customer wrote: "This is our first day with this toy, but I can tell she loves it already! I hung it up so she could play with it on her own since she can't sit up yet. The different tails are different colours and materials. The front and back "pages" are crinkly. Some tails are stuffed, and the squirrel even has a little squeaker! So fun."

Best for a multipack

You'll get six cloth books for your child in this sweet set. Each one introduces a different topic: sea world, animal world, numbers, vegetables, fruit and vehicles. The material is super soft and safe for your baby to chew on.

One reviewer said: "I bought this as a gift for my nephew who is 4 months old. He has been loving the books. They are very bright and colourful. They also make noise which he loves. It is helping him to increase his grip. HIs mum loves it and sent me a video showing him playing with it."

Best for machine washing

Introducing your baby's first newspaper from Jo & Nics's Crinkly Cloth Books! The cover looks just like a real paper and inside there are pages featuring animals you can find in the sea. While be bright and colourful, it's also quite stylish too and is therefore perfect for families who prefer aesthetically pleasing toys.

One happy reviewer wrote: "So clever and cute, we don't know where to begin - a newspaper for babies with great graphics and MAJOR crinkle factor."

Best for interactivity

Featuring a carrying handle on the side which makes it easy to attach to a stroller or carseat, this baby cloth book comes with a cute activity doll which your child can use to interact with the page scenes.

A reviewer wrote: "Excellent cloth book - bought for my granddaughter at 10 months. The little doll was just her hand size and all the scenes in the book were things she would be doing in her little life so could relate to. She quickly learned how to put the doll into the page scenes and remove her. Firm favourite."

Best for contrast

This cloth baby book is equipped with 6 high contrast colours, 9 different patterns and 1 baby-safe mirror, helping to aid visual development in the early stages. You baby will enjoy flipping the little red flag and peering into the reflection mirror.

A reviewer said: "Bought this for a three-month-old and it's perfect for her. The contrast between the colours is strong and eye-catching, there's a pocket to hide a panda, flaps to open, different textures to feel, a wheel to turn, crackling noises from some of the 'pages' and a squeaker as well. Very well thought out."

Best for teething

This beautifully illustrated and crinkle filled activity book has a high contrast side which can be used for the first few months of life to help develop baby's senses and emotional intelligence. Once baby passes the three month mark, the other side helps enhance fine motor skills with the use of a handy star shaped teether, moon pouch, peek a boo umbrella and crinkling sail.

One customer wrote: "Baby loves this book, two months old and she chatters away to her friend the penguin! Leaves me just enough time to get washing on/eat quickly/make a tea and then she’ll want my attention."

Best for wet play

Colour-Me-Bath-Book
Price: $16.14

A cloth book with a difference, this soft-touch padded book can be taken into the bath where you and your baby can watch it come to life when immersed in the water, with bold illustrations and bright colours. Just dry and dunk again for fun time story time again and again.

One parent reviewer said: "Finally something that keeps my 8 month old entertained in the tub!"
A grandparent wrote: "Get more than one. My grandson loves books and these keep him entertained while he gets his bath."

Best for being soft

This soft cloth book is portable and lightweight, making it easy for small hands to hold and turn the pages. Made of polyester fibre and filled with cotton inside, little ones will love pressing the cover animal's head to make it squeak as well as the crinkly pages.

A reviewer said: "Our baby has quite a few cloth books and Bumble Bee is one of his favourites. This book has crinkles on every page, perfect for the baby to stay engaged (many cloth books only have one crinkle page). The colours are high contrast. We've read it about twenty-ish times so far, and it's still in perfect condition."

Can cloth books for babies be washed?

Although you should always check the instructions beforehand, the majority of cloth books can indeed be washed, either by hand or by popping in the washing machine, ensuring they are as clean as possible. They can then be air dryed.

What age is suitable for cloth books?

Seeing as they're designed for babies, most cloth books (just like board books) are suitable from birth all the way up until toddlerhood/ They are also ideal for children with learning difficulties or disabilities, due to the sensory aspect.

To make sure your child will have maximum engagement with the book, be sure to find options that are brightly coloured with plenty of contrast, and look for material that's soft but crinkles.

Emily Gilbertis the Features & Reviews Editor for Mother&Baby and has written for the website and previously the magazine for six years. Specialising in product reviews, Emily is the first to know about all the exciting new releases in the parenting industry.

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