Babies are sweet. They’re cuddly. They’re squishy.

And they’re totally useless.

Here are ten books (and one bonus game!) to help your baby learn to really contribute to the family.

We just had our third baby (Jane) a few months ago, and as I was sitting there, staring at her tiny little fingers and perfect little toes, I thought to myself, “Gee, I sure wish she were less of an adorable lump and more of productive and contributing member of our household.”

My next thought was, I’m sure there’s gotta be some books for that!

Cue this post.

Read on to find all the ways your baby can start picking up the slack.

Time to start teaching our babies how real life works.

Thanks to Raincoast Books and Candlewick Press for sending some of these useful books my way!

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you purchase something that I will get a small percent at no additional cost to you.

Lonely Planet First Words – English

Obviously the baby in question first has to master the basics of language – English being the traditional first choice for English-speaking parents. This bright and bold board book covers some super cute basics. And being a board book it is also handy for little hands – building dexterity for when you teach skills like light bulb changing or hinge-fixing.

Buy Lonely Planet First Words – English here!

Lonely Planet First Words – French

Children are best able to learn a second language before the age of 10, so the earlier you begin, the better. (Those government jobs aren’t going to job themselves!)

Being Canadian, French is our weapon of choice. (The pen being mightier than the sword, and all.)

This Lonely Planet book will not only help around the house, but would be perfect for your baby to use while on vacation. Why pay for an expensive translator when you can train your own?

Buy Lonely Planet First Words – French here!

Alice in Wonderland – BabyLit
by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver

Babies need to be abstract thinkers in order to process large amounts of information in short periods of time. 

This ultra-condensed and abbreviated and abstract version of Alice in Wonderland is a terrific way to start that skill.

Buy the BabyLit Alice in Wonderland here!

Star Wars Epic Yarns: A New Hope
by Jack and Holman Wang

No child is a fully capable human being without at least a cursory knowledge of the Star Wars Universe. Start here.

With a single word on one page and adorably realistic felted characters on the other this is the perfect beginner’s guide to get your baby up to light speed.

Buy Star Wars Epic Yarns: A New Hope here!

My Animal Album
by Virginie Aracil

Identifying threats is an crucial task for any animal, and humans are no exception. This handy compendium has adorable pictures to help engage your baby as you teach them penguin = good, and lion = bad. Comes with handy soft tabs on the sides of the pages for quick reference and optimal baby knowledge impartment.

Buy My Animal Album here!

Big Kid Bed
by Leslie Patricelli

You can’t be on your A-game if you don’t get a good night’s sleep. Transitioning to a Big Kid Bed can be hard, but worth it since you can then get up to pee on your own (super important part of pulling your weight around the house.)

Leslie Patricelli’s iconic baby learns how to move from a crib, and now your baby can learn too.

Buy Big Kid Bed here!

by Leslie Patricelli

Self-awareness is a key component of any well-rounded individual.

Babies are just learning about themselves, but it’s always good to speed that up a bit. So when your child starts feeling like their mouth isn’t quite as its always been, it could be time for a brave new, toothy, world.

Another way to use your child’s toothiness for the greater family good is having them pony up that tooth fairy money. Toothpaste doesn’t buy itself!

Buy Tooth here!

Cement Mixer’s ABC
by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Ethan Long

Babies are cute and all but it would be wonderful if they could do things like pay the bills. Learning the alphabet is a key element in bill-paying. Get on it!

Buy Cement Mixer’s ABC here!

Dump Truck’s Colors
by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Ethan Long

This is another basic step for babies to master. Speaking, ABCs, colors, taxes, animals etc.

Join Dump Truck from the classic Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site in a colourful journey.

Buy Dump Truck’s Colors here!

Pride and Prejudice – Cozy Classics
by Jack and Holman Wang

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single baby in possession of a good book, must be in want of a cuddle.

Though babies’ primary contribution to the family should be financial, they do also provide emotional buoying through their superior snuggling skills.

So cozy up with this classic for some great therapeutic bonding.

Buy Pride and Prejudice – Cozy Classics here!

by Christopher Franceschelli and Peskimo

Part of any successful family is a child with the ability to impress others on demand. What better way to do this than through recitation of obscure dinosaur names?

This super chunky, fact-filled, captivating board book will have your infant saying “micropachycephalosaurus” in no time.

Buy Dinoblock here!

Baby Zoo
By Damien Poulain

This flash card set has high claims – “turn your baby into a zoologist!” But I can  100% confirm that after only five uses my 3 month old baby is indeed a zoologist! There has been some debate within academic circles as to her assertions that monkeys, crocodiles, and lions should all be considered “gooo” but she plans to address that in her next paper.

So if you feel a zoologist would be a good addition to the family then this high-contrast, sturdy flash card set is the perfect thing for you.

Buy Baby Zoo here!

So there we have it. Ten sure-fire ways to turn your baby from mooch to master.

Best of luck to you all 😉