Reading books with your children is a fantastic way to enhance language, bonding, fine motor skills… I could go on and on about the benefits of books. It is never too early to start. I have had parents say to me, “why would I read to my baby, she can’t read yet!” It is not just about the child reading. It is sitting with you, hearing your voice, hearing words, and watching you point to pictures. A recent study published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics found that kids whose parents read them five books a day start kindergarten having heard more than a million more words than children whose parents don’t read to them. And if five books per day isn’t always doable for you, don’t worry—the researchers found even one book per day gives kids a boost of about 290,000 more words by age five. Along with bright colors of some of the traditional favorite early books, young babies often respond well to photographic pictures. Here are some of my favorite books to recommend for young babies.
I love the simple pages and easily recognizable images in these board books (this is a set of three). You can simply label the pictures as you turn the pages, or add some descriptions or sound effects. For very young ones, it is OK to try to mouth the books, just keep at it for short moments at a time. They are listening, I promise!
Here is another great board book. Babies LOVE faces, and these pictures will surely grab their attention. You can point to eyes, talk about what baby is smiling, have your child help turn pages…its all about baby faces!
For babies just beyond the mouthing months, this is a great book that is sure to keep their interest. With flaps to move and a cute story to follow, this is a tried and true hit. Where is Baby’s Belly Button?