Stephanie is enjoying being a (sleep-deprived) first-time mum living in the Northwest of England.
Reading to Babies
Some people may not understand the importance of reading to babies when they are so young and cannot fully understand what a book is, let alone follow a short story.
However, reading to your baby gives you the chance to cuddle and bond with your baby and enjoy some quiet time together.
Being able to hear your voice and listen to the many interesting sounds you will make when reading, will encourage your child to make new sounds and get them excited about talking and reading.
It has been found that reading aloud to children has a greater benefit to language development than just speaking to them. According to the Melbourne Child Psychology practice, books expose children to a wider range of words than we would usually use in every day speech.
Starting a reading habit early helps to make reading a part of everyday life for your child, but what do you read to a baby that will help to engage them and get them excited about books?
That's Not My...
One of my baby's first books was 'That's Not My Hedgehog'. This is part of a large series that allows your baby to touch each page and feel a different material. My child went through a phase of scratching everything and still loved these books as the different materials made different sounds.
The premise of these books is that a mouse has lost their hedgehog, lion, elephant, unicorn etc, and he meets many of these animals or people, but he can see that it's not his animal as their back is too prickly, or similar.
So far I have read the following books from this series with my baby:
- That's Not My Hedgehog
- That's Not My Baby - we read the boy version of this book, but it is also available in a girl version.
- That's Not My Lion - a great book to practice your lion roar!
- That's Not My Elephant
- That's Not My Panda
My baby has loved every one of these books and we still read them almost a year later. Some of the books have the same materials in them, but there are a few new ones and the description for the feel of these materials changes.
I came across a Sam Lloyd book when looking for new books in my local library. You're Not So Scary, Sid! is the first book that made my baby giggle and even laugh just when the book was picked up, in anticipation of the fun that was going to be had.
Scary Sid is a puppet book about a monster that is hungry and may eat your baby's fingers. My baby loves being chased and scared (I'm not sure how common this is!), so this book really appealed. You can adapt the story and the ferociousness of Sid to match your baby's mood.
When I found out there were more books in this series, I had to get a few for Christmas. Not all of the puppets want to eat your baby's fingers! Calm Down Boris! is about a monster who loves kisses and keeps trying to kiss everyone. My baby has just started to understand kisses and now tries to kiss Boris first.
The other book we have tried in this series is Turn it Up, Doris! which is about Boris' sister who is very quiet. After seeing how quiet she is at the start of the book, one day she needs to raise her voice.
My child adores all of these books and they offer something completely different to the 'That's Not My...' series.
Never Touch a Monster
Never Touch a Monster was one of the first books I bought my baby. I couldn't resist the bright pictures and the rubber touchy feely sections. It also has a really cute poem throughout the book about not touching monsters, however friendly they may seem. Though obviously, your child will not be able to resist touching every single monster!
My baby can still be found rooting through the toy box for this book and I often walk into the room to find it on the floor being 'read'.
All of the above book suggestions are strong board books and can withstand much throwing about, which is a necessity for babies.
I hope you have as much fun reading these books with your baby as I have and that they help excite your baby about reading in the future.
If you have any further book suggestions for babies, please comment below. I am always looking for new books for my child and we will have great fun reading them!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Cygnet Brown from Springfield, Missouri on October 30, 2019:
I started teaching my daughter to read by reading to her from the time she was born. She could read by the time she started kindergarten. Now she's in college. I am so glad I started her off right!