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Part 3 of our 10 part series on creating a literacy rich home.
Reading to babies when to start?
The answer: start right away. You can start reading to your baby as soon as they are born (in fact you should!).
Babies are smart.
Babies love to be read to.
Babies can learn to love books.
Babies love to be close to you & hear your voice.
Babies like books that are simple, colorful, & high contrast.
A few tips:
- Start with a few minutes at a time & work your way up to longer. Most babies before 12 months have attention spans that will only last a minute or two at a time. That’s normal!
- Take time to read to your baby any chance you can get. When they wake up, before naptime, during playtime. Short, frequent & repeated exposure is the way to go with babies.
- Speaking in a high pitched voice is innuative for a reason–babies can hear you better when you do this, so don’t hesitate to speak in “baby speak,” but also, don’t be afraid to repeat words, to have your baby mimic you, & to stop & make eye contact with your baby frequently. Repition & modeling is in part how they learn language.
- Stay away from board books that are too busy (too many words, too much going on in one page). Simple, high contrast books are ideal for babies.
Below are some of my top baby book picks.
Usborne books are only available through an Usborne distributor (which I am–click on the link & it will take you to my online store).
I’m a huge fan of Usborne books (huge!). I’ll tell you more in future posts exactly why, but I think this quote by the founder of this independent publishing company explains why I love them so much.
This quote sums up the philosophy behind all Usborne books.
We own at least a hundred Usborne books (purchased over the years, not in one lump sum!) & they are hands down, an essential part of my children’s home library. I can’t talk about building a home library without mentioning Usborne books. Just thought you should know why I will often recommend Usborne titles!
Without further adieu, here’s my top 10 list of baby books I think are worth owning:
DK Baby Faces
Babies LOVE looking at pictures of other babies. This has been a hit with all of my babies.
Usborne’s Alphabet Picture Book
A bigger board book (sturdy pages)–I LOVE the illustrations. It’s never too early to introduce the alphabet to your child.
Usborne’s That’s Not My Elephant!
Usborne has an entire series of “That’s Not My ____.” They’re interactive, touchy feely books that are fun to read & look at. Babies love to touch & these books give them an opportunity to explore a variety of textures with their hands.
→Tip: You can save money on Usborne books by buying a collection. That’s how I’ve purchased many of our books. You can get five of the That’s not my animal! books in this collection at 20% off regular price.
Usborne’s Animal Noises Board Book
Darling illustrations & every baby needs to learn animal sounds.
Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes, by Annie Kubler
Teach your baby the words to this popular song through fun illustrations.
Little Blue Truck, by Alice Shertle
A classic story turned into a board book. Love the storyline & illustrations.
Peek-a-WHO? by Nina Laden
Colorful, playful, simple & fun.
Usborne Book of Lullabies (w/ CD)
Lullabies are such a great way to connect with your baby & give them pre-literacy skills. Love all the lullabies in this collection.
Usborne’s Baby’s Very First Black & White Library
For the first year of life, babies see things better if there is a sharp contrast (ie. black & white). These books grab your baby’s attention & help them to focus on the images.
Other posts in this series:
Do you have any favorite baby board books to add to this list?