Books are a wonderful gift! This post will focus on babies up to 12 months but my 3 year old still enjoys many of these – at a different level.
By 6 months, vision is developed enough for baby to recognize some images and to begin understanding that pictures represent objects. Baby starts to prefer certain pictures, pages, or even entire stories read over and over! While you read, your baby will respond by grabbing for the book and vocalizing. By 12 months, your child will start to help turn pages, pat or start to point to objects on a page, and repeat your sounds.
Buy This: for this age, look for board books that are sturdy, that can be propped, and small enough for baby to try and hold – and taste! Babies love books with photos of babies, bright colors, textures, flaps and familiar objects. Also look for simple content with language that is short and repetitious.
Some Favorite Books in Our Home: Baby Faces, Colors, Giggle Baby, Peek-a-Who. Some Favorite Authors: Karen Katz (Where is Baby’s Bellybutton?), Sandra Boyton, and Eric Carle. A small plastic photo book with familiar faces is another great idea!
What are your family’s favorite books/authors?
Yesterday we covered “Buy This: What to look for in Books for Babies.” Today is “Not That: Things to Avoid in Books for Babies.”
Avoid books that are too wordy. You can always reword some parts, skip parts, etc. but remember you will be reading some of these books A LOT! The book on the left shows a great starter book – one color and one picture. The book on the right introduces many images, some of which baby may not even know (eggplant, beet).
Avoid books with fragile pop ups and paper pages. Choosing durable books in the early years will allow your child to explore the book, attempt to turn pages without the risk of tearing/ripping.
Avoid books that are too long. Attention span can be quite fleeting when babies start to move since that becomes quite a focus. Be okay with reading only a page or two!
Avoid the same type of book: Provide a variety, limit books that are too repetitive and look for those that rhyme! Babies seem to love those!
Here are some great Do’s and Don’ts when reading with your baby. It is so important to remember that it isn’t always about the content but about the actual act of reading. Speed up, slow down, point at pictures, make different sounds, etc. Realize that you won’t always finish every book, that your baby may lose interest. Have books throughout your home, in your car, diaper bag, etc. as an easy tool for distraction. Take the time to snuggle your little one and read the book through the eyes and heart of your child!
And to complete our “books” topic, check out this link called “Love Books!” It is a collection of many different blog posts of book reviews and corresponding activities! How cool is that — especially for our older kiddos! Can’t wait to check some of them out!