Touch and hug your baby the entire time and make reading an experience your child wants to repeat often.
Books to Read
Five Easy Steps for Sharing Books with your Baby
- Pick the best time to read - a time when you and your baby are rested and in a good mood. Stop if your baby gets restless or upset. Try again later when you and your baby are ready.
- Show your baby the book - point to the pictures and talk in an excited voice.
- Let your baby play with the book if he wants. Holding, chewing and even throwing books indicate that your baby is comfortable with books.
- Have fun! Remember to touch and hug your baby the entire time and make reading an experience your child wants to repeat often.
- Share a book with your baby everyday. Just a few minutes will make a difference in how soon your child learns language.
How to choose books for babies
Newborn to 6 months
- Look for books with simple geometric images that are easy for a newborn to focus on. Try Tana Hoban's books White on Black and Black on White. Infants also like looking at human faces - check out the baby face series by Margaret Miller.
- For newborns - look for rhythmic, patterned language - patterns of sound will encourage language development even when the infant doesn't yet understand words.
- Infants this age are able to control their movements and interact with their environment. Choose lift-the-flap books such as Where is Spot? by Eric Hill and Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt. Choose sturdy board books with bright images and simple text that can withstand chewing, tearing and drooling.
- Children this age enjoy books that are repetitive and predictable. They will begin to anticipate what comes next in a book, even inserting words or phrases from the story. This reinforces the connection between spoken language and written words - a critical reading skill. Read lots of nursery rhyme and poetry books to reinforce your child's phonemic awareness.
- Look for repetition and appealing illustrations, as well as sturdy format.
Board Books for Babies Birth to 12 Months