Reading (birth - 15 months)

Books can bring many benefits to babies. Babies love books and the cuddle time that often comes with reading. Sharing a book you love with a baby is a great way to strengthen your relationship. You are also giving her pleasant associations around books and reading—and this is the beginning of helping her learn to love books and become a lifelong reader. Here are a few more of the many benefits books bring to babies.

  • When you read a book together and then talk about it, a baby feels safe and content and tunes into what you are saying.
  • When you read a book with pictures that show other babies, animals, familiar objects, or colorful pictures, a baby may stare at or point to the pictures. 
  • When you read aloud, a baby listens to the rhythm and sound of your voice and is learning about how language sounds.

Sturdy board books are attractive toys for babies of all ages.

  • For young babies: Prop a book up where a baby can see it during “tummy time” or place it further away to lure a baby who is learning to crawl.
  • For older babies: Give crawlers and walkers opportunities to get books themselves and look at the pages or to bring you a book to read.
  • For all babies: Give a baby a book to hold and explore as you change her diaper. Talk about the pictures together.

Make reading a daily routine in your program. Reinforce the importance of reading by encouraging babies’ family members to make reading a daily routine at home, too. Be sure to encourage them to use their preferred language as they talk with their baby about the pictures or read her the story. 

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