Top 6 Best Counting Books For Babies in First Year

8 min read

Written by Sindhuja Prabhu

Sindhuja Prabhu

Counting Books For Babies

Teaching your baby to count can be an important milestone. It can be very difficult at first but with a lot of patience and effective teaching methods, your baby will learn to count sooner than you expect. Among many toys and educational materials, counting books for babies can be an effective way to teach counting.

Counting books tend to slowly introduce babies to counting. They are accompanied by some interesting illustrations and a story that helps the baby to learn counting with continuity. Reading counting books to your baby by pointing to the numbers can help them learn faster.

In This Article

What Are Counting Books?

Counting books are books that help your little one count. Counting books for babies are usually board books for numbers and colorful pictures. They teach your baby the sequence of numbers and how to count. The attractive numbers and pictures can hold your baby’s fascination. They can also learn new objects when they count. Though young babies may not understand or cannot learn counting, they will get familiar with the books as they play. They will pique their interest in learning numbers later as they grow.

Are Counting Books Good For Babies?

Learning to count is an important step to learning and understanding all other numerical concepts. Be it to understand how many toes or fingers your baby has, how many pieces of a snack they want, or which class they are studying in, they need to know to count.

Counting books have an interesting approach to teaching babies and young children to count. They teach counting with illustrations and a story to bring it all together. Some books teach to count forward and some teach backward counting. Both are important for children to learn at a young age.

When Should You Introduce Counting Books To Babies?

Introduce Counting Books To Babies

You can introduce counting book to your baby at around 4 to 6 months of age. By this time babies are able to differentiate colors. By the 6th month, your baby will be able to sit with support. You can make counting books a part of their toy corner. Let them get familiar with the feel of the books and play with it. Before 6th month, you can make this book a part of your baby’s tummy time activity.

Sit with your baby, get into play mode, read out the numbers, and count them aloud. Make the activity fun so that your baby will enjoy it. Do this repeatedly and before you know it, and to your surprise, your baby will start rattling out the numbers.

Benefits of Counting Books For Babies

Counting books have many benefits for your baby. Some of them are listed below

1. Cognitive Development

The neural connections in your baby’s brain form with lightning speed. This is the reason why they learn so many things with such speeds. At this time, you need to provide an impetus for them to learn interesting things that will benefit them in the long run. In short, counting books fuel your baby’s cognitive development.

2. Learning

At the very basic level, babies learn numbers with repeated exposure to counting books. They learn numbers and also something new from the pictures in the books.

3. Memory

Constant learning gives your baby’s memory a boost. This prepares them for a lot more learning they will do as they grow.

4. Fine Motor Skills

Turning pages requires fine motor skills. While your baby may be clumsy and struggling in turning pages at the beginning, with practice they will master the skill. Fine motor skills come in extremely handy later in the later months when the baby has to hold cutlery or crayons.

6. Independent Play

When you make counting books a part of your baby’s playtime, they learn to spend more time with the books. If the pictures and the fonts are attractive enough, your munchkin may spend more time with them. This will promote independent play in babies.

Top 6 Best Counting Books For Babies in First Year

Here is a list of six counting books that can help your baby learn the numbers and learn to count, very easily and quickly.

1. Turtle Splash! Countdown At The Pond by Cathryn Falwell

Turtle Splash! Countdown At The Pond book

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This is a book about turtles and other animals you are bound to find around the pond. The author uses rhyming words to count down from 10 to 1, like line-nine, late-eight, and so on. The illustrations are colorful and interesting and end with all 10 little turtles settling down under the water to sleep.

Why This Book

Apart from teaching your munchkin to count down from 10 to 1, the book also educates them about other animals in the forest. The bright big numbers look attractive for a baby to see and learn from. The last page has details about each of the creatures mentioned in the story.

As your baby grows up, this information can be very valuable to the young mind that is curious to learn more about animals. This is a very informative book for not just babies but for older children as well.

2. 10 Black Dots by Donald Crews

10 Black Dots book

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The book starts by asking the reader what they can do with 10 dots. The author then goes on to tell what all you can do with the dots, starting from one and counting all the way up to 10. He uses rhyming words and gives different ideas to use the dots with.

Why This Book

The book can not only teach your baby to count from one to ten but can also make them think innovatively and spot dots in everything they see around them. This increases their focus and curiosity, both of which are important for their cognitive development. It encourages your little one to see and count using everything around them. The illustrations are big and use black dots on a light background, which is perfect even for babies who can’t see in colors yet.

[Read : When Do Babies Start Seeing Colors?]

3. 10 Little Lady Bugs by Melaine Gerth

10 Little Lady Bugs book

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The story is about 10 little ladybugs. The author counts down from 10 to 1 and uses rhyming words that lead to the next number. For example, vine-nine; sun-one and so on. The book has colorful illustrations of ladybugs on the last page and holes in all the pages before that. This way, the baby can interact and explore the book to touch and count the ladybugs through the holes.

Why This Book

The rhyming words make it easy for the baby to remember and recollect the numbers. The book is interactive and enables babies to touch and count ladybugs, which is an effective way to develop counting skills. Every page ends with “then there were”; as your baby grows, this can be a leading sentence that prompts them to say the next number, thus improving recollection and association skills as well.

[Read : Best Interactive Books For Babies in the First Year]

4. Baby’s Numbers by Karen Katz

Baby’s Numbers book- Counting books for babies

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The author uses regular items used around a baby to count from 1 to 10. A baby will find it easier to relate to and learn the numbers easily. The author uses bright big illustrations to capture the interest of babies who want to just flip the pages and see the images.

Why This Book

The colorful patterns and big illustrations are perfect to grab the attention of very young readers. Being a board book, this can be suitable even for young babies who love to chew on their toys and books. The pages are hard and not sharp, perfect for tiny hands to flip without suffering any paper cuts. The book is also compact enough to carry in a bag and take anywhere to entertain a baby on the go.

5. One Fox: A Counting Book Thriller by Kate Read

One Fox- A Counting Book Thriller book

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The book starts with one very hungry fox and goes on to count all the way up to 10. The story is about how the hungry fox finds food to eat and sneaks upon them. In the end, the fox is chased away by all the chickens. So, no animal is hurt. It is a thriller that can captivate the attention right till the end. Since no animal is killed, it is a happy ending that babies will like.

Why This Book

The author uses rhyming words to both narrate the story and count the numbers from 1 to 10. The big illustrations can be very helpful to teach your baby to count using their fingers by pointing at the spots. For a baby who is yet to learn numbers and counting, 100 is a very big number and the author uses this too at the end of the book. It is sure to keep your little one attentive till the end. Try reading it with exaggerated expressions and voice modulations, your baby is sure to ask for a repeat.

6. Doggies by Sandra Bounton

Doggies book- Counting books for babies

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A cute little board book that is sure to entertain children of all ages. It starts with one dog saying woof. The author goes on to count up to 10 dogs and 10 different barks. Babies and kids love to make noise, especially if they are mimicking an animal.

Why This Book

The book is fun, innovative, and very unique in the way it teaches counting. It not only teaches babies to count from 1 to 10 but also teaches them the various types of barks and how noisy the place can get if 10 different dogs bark at the same time. The illustration of 10 different dogs also helps teach a baby how different dogs can look. The hard book is also suitable for young babies who love to mouth and explore their environment. You don’t have to worry about paper cuts or pages tearing either.

Counting books for babies when filled with attractive and colorful illustrations, narrated with a story, can make it easier for a baby to remember. The multiple aspects of the book help a baby remember and recollect the numbers in an order, which is how they start counting. These books can be a valuable addition to your baby’s book collection.


1. What is the Importance of Teaching Babies to Count?

Teaching a baby, the concept of numbers and counting is very important. All numerical concepts are based on counting and teaching them to count properly forms a strong base to understand all this as they grow.

2. Why is Counting an Important Cognitive Skill For Babies?

Unlike reciting words or poems, in counting, babies will be thinking, seeing images, and processing information. The brain is stimulated and worked from multiple angles. This helps in cognitive development, thus making counting an important milestone.

3. How Can Counting Books Help Teach Numbers to Babies?

Counting books have the numbers written in bold, with bright illustrations paired with an interesting story. Together they grab the attention of the baby and also retain it longer than a regular book. They are even more effective than oral teaching.

Read Also: Top 6 Best Bath Books For Babies in First Year

Sindhuja Prabhu,M.Sc (Psychology),PGDBM

Sindhuja, a mother of two, is an obsessive mom with a keen interest in psychology, especially child psychology. Her quest for knowledge and way with words led her to become a passionate content writer. She transformed her love for writing into a full-fledged career which incidentally also turned up being the perfect stress buster for the last 5 years.Read more.

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