Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hey Baby, What Are You Reading?

Is your child ever too young to read to?  Can you read to a one month old or a seven month old?  Turns out, you can start even earlier!  Babies recognize their mother's voice in the womb.

Hey Baby, What Are You Reading

Why Should You Read to Your Baby?
Reading to your child throughout their infancy provides a number of benefits:
  • Provides a time and routine for parent-child bonding which leads to a positive association with the experience of reading
  • Immerses the child in the sounds and rhythm of speech
  • Books become a natural part of your child’s day and routine
  • “Believe it or not, by the time babies reach their first birthday they will have learned all the sounds needed to speak their native language. The more stories you read aloud, the more words your child will be exposed to and the better he or she will be able to talk.”  (
  • “Reading...invites your baby to look, point, touch, and answer questions — all of which promote social development and thinking skills.” (
  • Spending time reading to your baby shows that reading is a skill worth learning.
What Types of Books Should You Read to Your Baby?
Look for books with the following characteristics:
  • Easy to grasp, hold, and manipulate
  • Sturdy enough to withstand chewing
  • Simple illustrations with bright colors and patterns
  • Interactive features such as things to lift, slide, touch, look through, or  point to
  • Rhythmic, lilting prose
  • Features other babies, animals, or simple objects from around the home

Suggested Books to Read to Your Baby

I need to start this section with a caveat.  There are tons and tons of good quality books out there to read to your child.  Don’t rely only on lists, be sure to keep your eye open at the bookstore and look for the features mentioned above.  Follow your child’s interests and your own childhood memories.  

Here are just a few that might get you started.


What about you?  Do you have a favorite book that you shared with your baby?  How old was your child when you started reading to her or him?  

You might also enjoy Checklist for Encouraging a Growing Reader and Creating a Cozy Reading Space.

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