Finding Montessori books for babies should be a simple task, but it’s surprisingly difficult! Most baby books are filled with talking animals, fantastical creatures, and otherwise imaginative scenarios that are most definitely not Montessori-aligned. To help you find the best Montessori-friendly baby books, we’ve compiled a list of our favorites.
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases made through links below.
Best Montessori-Friendly Books for Babies
When it comes to Montessori-friendly books, the idea is that young children learn best through reality rather than fantasy.
In fact, current research supports what Montessori has purported for well over a century - children under six have difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality. Before this point, children can’t think logically and understand the imaginative concepts we find in fairytales and make-believe stories.
Dr. Montessori believed that “The true basis of the imagination is reality.” As such, we strive to give young children books that represent an accurate picture of the real world and wait to introduce fantasy until they’re older.
What makes a book Montessori friendly?
Elements to look for when choosing books include:
- the use of photographs of people, animals, plants, and everyday objects
- plots that reflect real-life events (or at least scenarios that could occur in real life)
- people and animals doing natural things (i.e. say yes to swimming fish and no to animals driving)
- beautiful, realistic illustrations (ie no larger than real life animals or disproportional-shaped humans)
Can Montessori books be fiction?
Absolutely! While informative non-fiction books are far more likely to be Montessori-aligned, there are certainly fictional books that fit as well. Use your best judgment, but if the book is grounded in reality and follows much of what is listed above, chances are good it’s Montessori-friendly.
Should I read books to my newborn?
One other question we see a lot is at what age should you start reading to your baby. Personally, I say the sooner, the better! In fact, there’s much to be said about reading to your baby even in utero.
When looking for books to read to your 0-6 month old baby, you should also look for books with high-contrast, black, white and red patterns. These books are great at stimulating a newborn baby’s eyesight and brain development, as they are easiest for the baby to see.
Multisori even offers a free high contrast baby book you can download now -
Babies also love looking at human faces, so books with pictures of other humans are always great.
And of course you can’t forget the “touch and feel books” that their little hands will love to explore.
All of this is so important, especially when starting Montessori with your baby. So with all that said, here’s some of our top recommendations for Montessori-friendly baby books:
As mentioned above, high contrast books are great for babies. The high contrast black-and-white images in this book are sure to catch a baby's attention. It’s a brilliant book that’s ideal for infants who are just beginning to look and learn.
Indestructibles are amazing books for babies! These are chew proof, rip proof, nontoxic, and washable - seriously, you can even throw them in your dishwasher.
Mama and Baby is a sweet book to read while snuggling your baby and a beautiful reminder of the new life arriving as the days grow warmer.
Bilingual Bright Baby Books
These books are not only great for introducing basic concepts, like color and first words, but they’re bilingual! Some mistakenly believe that reading bilingual books might confuse a baby, but it’s not true at all. In fact, reading bilingual stories can help your child develop stronger cognitive and problem-solving skills.
Three of my favorite bilingual Montessori baby books:
Colors with Ladybug
This book is a great example of using your judgment when it comes to deciding if a book is Montessori-friendly. While it stretches into fantasy as the ladybug wears magical color-changing shoes, it also has components that are Montessori-aligned with its tactile glittery finishes, peep-through cover, and rhyming verse.
When it comes down to it, the time you spend reading to your baby is what counts. Not only does reading to your baby deepen and strengthen the bond you have with him/her, but it begins to foster a love of reading that will benefit them for years to come. What’s your favorite book to read to your little one? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!