There are so many benefits to reading to babies! Babies love to hear the sound of your voice. From birth on, infants are learning how language works when their parents talk to them. Reading is an excellent way to supplement those one-sided conversations. Babies love to hear the rhyme, rhythm, and repetition in stories that will help them develop their language skills.
Reading to very young children also helps to raise print awareness and relate reading with enjoyable experiences. Print awareness is an understanding of how books and printed words work. As children see you read they start to equate the black text with the words you are saying and turning the pages with the progression of the story. When they have positive experiences with reading and parents are modeling to the child that they value reading, children are more likely to enjoy reading as they get older and stick with learning to read when it gets difficult. Perhaps the best reason of all to read with your baby is that it is fun to share that special one-to-one time with a young child and make wonderful memories together.
It can be difficult to find the right books to read to an infant. There are many books published for this audience but not all of them are ideal for sharing with babies. Look for simple illustrations with bright, contrasting colors to hold baby’s attention. The text should be simple and enjoyable to read aloud. Below I have listed five books that I have often read with infants and toddlers with great success.
Baby doesn’t want to take a nap, baby just wants to dance. This book has a great rhythm that is sure to get your feet tapping.
Have fun with sounds in this story about a baby’s day and all the different sounds baby can make.
The bold illustrations of a little penguin and parent are perfect for holding baby’s attention as the penguins describe the things they like.
Babies from all around the world are shown in this beautiful book, and they all have ten little fingers and ten little toes.
This brightly illustrated lift-the-flap board book is so much fun for babies learning about their bodies. Lift the flaps to find baby’s belly button, hands, eyes, and mouth.