When should I begin reading to my baby?
It's never too early to begin reading to your baby. Research has demonstrated the value of early and frequent reading aloud to babies and increased verbal and reading skills in kindergarten and beyond.
How do I keep my baby's attention when reading aloud?
Since your face is your baby’s favorite toy, it is helpful to position your baby so she can see both your face and the book at the same time. By turning the baby so her body is at a 45 degree angle on your lap, you encourage her to see both your face and the book while you read, allowing the her to watch your expressions and how your mouth moves when you make different sounds.
What kind of books do young infants enjoy?
According to Mem Fox, author of Reading Magic, Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change their Lives Forever - books with rhyme, rhythm, and repetition, will capture your baby’s interest and promote a life long love of reading. In general, babies enjoy board books with simple drawings; high contrast colors (black, white and red) will attract even the youngest baby’s attention.
Babies enjoy listening to your voice, so whether it is a board book, nursery rhyme, magazine, newspaper, or a book of poems that you choose to read, your baby will be captivated if you use expressions and excitement in your voice. Read slowly, with pauses, so your baby’s excitement builds in anticipation of the next page.
Should I read to our baby at bedtime?
Absolutely. It can be very helpful as part of a bedtime routine to consistently read a few short books before bedtime. Babies respond to predictability and repetition, so reading the same books at bedtime will encourage your baby to anticipate this is part of a winding-down ritual.
On the other hand, if your baby falls asleep quickly and becomes cranky when you try to read at bedtime, any time during the day is a good time to read aloud to a baby. Keep books throughout your home, in your diaper bag and in your car.
What are some suggestions for fun books for babies?
Goodnight San Francisco (Adam Gamble)
Hug (Jez Alborough)
Moo Baa La La La (Sandra Boynton)
Each Peach Pear Plum (Janet & Allan Ahlberg)
Urban Babies Wear Black (Michelle Sinclair Colman)
Are You My Mother? (P.D. Eastman)
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Bill Martin)
Yum Yum Dim Sum (Amy Wilson Singer)
Owl Babies (Martin Waddell)
Where’s Spot? (Eric Hill)
Maisy’s Favorite Things (Lucy Cousins)
Dr. Seuss’s ABCs (Dr. Seuss)
Olivia Counts (Ian Falconer)
My Toys, Mi Juguetes (Rebecca Emberley)
Bread and Jam for Frances (Russell Hoban)
Ten Little Fingers Ten Little Toes (Mem Fox)
For more information:
Reading Magic, Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever,
revised ed, by Mem Fox. 2008. NY: Harcourt Press.
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