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Babies and Books: A Helpful Guide to Develop Good Reading Habits Early.

Growth & Development / Sep 13, 2022 / Vetted by Team BabyG
Guide to Develop Good Reading Habits Early

It’s amazing to witness the changes your baby goes through from birth. At an early age, your baby may not understand everything you do or say. However, the activities that you do together help your baby grow, learn and develop. Reading to your baby is one such wonderful activity that helps your baby’s brain development and should be continued through your baby’s growing years.

If you are a first-time parent, you may be wondering when exactly you should begin reading books to your baby and how reading can help your baby. Worry not, read on to understand how books are your baby’s ticket to brain development.

At what age can I read books to my baby?

Some parents read aloud to their babies when they are still in the womb so that he/she becomes familiar with their voice. You may begin reading books to your baby right from birth.

Although you feel your baby is too young to understand a story, she will definitely enjoy your company and hearing your soothing voice.  Research shows that reading books to your baby during early infancy has a lasting positive effect on your baby's language skills.

What are the benefits of reading books early on?

Reading to your baby teaches them about communication. By the time you celebrate your little one's first birthday, they are all equipped to speak many words in your native language. Remember, the more you read, the more your baby listens and learns to talk.

Reading to your baby has the following benefits:

  • Introduction to the surrounding world
  • Improved listening skills, vocabulary, and language skills
  • Good understanding of numbers, shapes, letters, and colours
  • Improved family bonding

How can I continue to read to my baby as my baby grows up?

As your baby grows, you can read age-appropriate books with your baby that he/she enjoys. Your baby may also enjoy handling and reading e-books or e-readers, or listening to their favourite audiobook when you travel.

a. Birth to six months:

Reading at this age is more about bright faces, colours, and patterns. Choose board books or books with vinyl or cloth backs as your baby may chew on them. Books with minimal text and high-contrast pictures or even sounds are perfect for this age.

A few books recommended for 0-to 6-month-old babies are:

  • Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni.
  • Baby Beluga by Raffi.
  • Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss.
  • Look, Look! by Peter Linenthal.

b. Six to 12 months:

Your baby now makes a grab for the book or responds by making sounds as you read. Your baby even shows a preference for certain books, stories pages, or pictures over others. By year one, your baby will be eager to turn the pages herself and point at objects in the book.

These are a few books recommended for 6- to 12-month-olds:

  • Let’s Play by Leo Lionni.
  • Open the Barn Door... by Christopher Santoro.
  • Wheels on the Bus by Raffi.
  • Clap Your Hands by Lorinda Bryan Cauley.
  • Llama Llama Nighty-Night by Anna Dewdney.

c. 12 to 18 months:

At this age, babies love to see pictures of other babies and animals. Grab their attention by making animal sounds as you read. Pause to ask simple questions ("Where’s the kitten?") and wait to see if your baby responds. Introduce lift-the-flap books and books with textures (soft, crinkly, scratchy) to your curious toddler.

A few books recommended for 12- to 18-month-olds:

  • Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill.
  • Hello, World! My Body by Jill McDonald.
  • All of Baby, Nose to Toes by Victoria Adler.
  • Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora.
  • Littles: And How They Grow by Kelly DiPucchio.


d. 18 to 24 months:

As your baby labels things with simple sounds (such as a moo on seeing a cow’s picture), you can start including longer stories with humour and silly rhymes. Stop from time to time to let your baby repeat his or her favourite line in the story. Encourage your baby’s growing independence by allowing him/her to turn the pages.

Here are a books recommended for 18-to 24-month-olds:

  • My first Mother Goose by Tomie de Paola.
  • A colour of his own by Leo Lionni.
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
  • Little Owl’s Colours by Divya Srinivasan.
  • Duck and goose colors by Tad Hills.

e. 24 to 36 months:

Now use books with regular pages that have stories with an engaging plot. This is when your toddler will want the same book and a repeat of the same story again and again. Your baby will also love to look at illustrations of different vehicles and books that discuss seasons or jobs (such as the postman or doctor) as he/she develops an understanding of the world.

These are a few books recommended for 24-to 30-month-olds:

  • Corduroy 40th Anniversary Edition by Don Freeman.
  • No Biting! by Karen Katz. 
  • No Hitting! by Karen Katz. 
  • Ladybug Girl Makes Friends by Jacky Davis.
  • Duck & Goose: How Are You Feeling? by Tad Hills.

And the books recommended for 30-to 36-month-olds are:

  • Even Superheroes Have to Sleep by Sara Crow. 
  • Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London. 
  • My Big Boy Undies by Karen Katz.
  • My Very First Book of Food by Eric Carle. 
  • My Big Girl Undies by Karen Katz.

Read books to your baby every day, before a nap or at bedtime. You may also read these when your baby is alert, dry, and has been fed. Choose books wisely according to your baby’s age and interests and enjoy some lovely bonding time together.

For more tips and an expanse of stories age-appropriate and perfect for your little one, get the BabyG App today!



References:

  1. KidsHealth. Reading books to babies [2021].
  2. NCT. Reading to your child: What’s the fuss about [2021].
  3. Parlakian R, MacLaughlin SS. Zero to Three. Read early and often [2021].
  4. KIdsHealth. Creating a reader-friendly home [2021].
  5. KidsHealth. Raising a summer reader [2021].
  6. Penguin random house. The read down. Best books for children 0-6 months [2021].
  7. Penguin random house. The read down. Best books for children 6-12 months [2021].
  8. Penguin random house. The read down. Best books for children 12-18 months [2021].
  9. Penguin random house. The read down. Best books for children 18-24 months [2021].
  10. Penguin random house. The read down. Best books for children 24-30 months [2021].
  11. Penguin random house. The read down. Best books for children 30-36 months [2021].

 

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