It’s Time for a Story:
The Rewards of Reading to Your Little One Reading to your little one can be a special experience for both mother and child. Your baby loves hearing you talk—even inside the womb, the sound of your voice was soothing and comforting… a first, reassuring glimpse into the outside world.
You may find that reading a book together becomes a calming part of your bedtime routine, signaling to your baby that it’s time to go to sleep. Whatever time of day you read together, the activity offers an opportunity for you both to snuggle, relax, and bond.
It might also give your little one a head start in the classroom. Experts say that reading to your baby (even at just a few days’ old) contributes to the early development of language skills. The American Academy of Pediatrics says it’s never too early to start, so grab a book, find a cozy spot to cuddle up in, and enjoy a story together.
But which book should you choose? There are plenty of options at the bookstore and online, or you can borrow a selection from the local library and see which ones you like best. The important thing to remember is that, until your baby is a little older, they won’t grasp what the words mean but will respond to the tone of your voice and the faces you pull when you talk. As long as you say the words with emotion, you could read anything at all—from the phone book to a takeout menu!
While your little one can’t follow a story yet, they will enjoy looking at the pictures. Choose books that have big, colorful pictures that you can point to as you read along. Most baby books are also sturdy and sometimes soft, since your baby will want to hold it and put it in their mouth as they get older!
There are books that have lots of soft sounds perfect for bedtime, and books full of fun rhythms and rhymes. To help you decide what to read, here are six of our favorites:
1. Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book by Dr. Seuss Kids of all ages love rhyming, silly, clever Dr. Seuss, and newborns are no exception! The singsong cadences of Seuss’s verse help soothe your little one and make them sleepy when it’s time for bed. The stories are also fun for mommy and daddy to read, and there are bright pictures for baby to look at. And since this book can be enjoyed well into kindergarten, this book is an investment that your little one will love for years to come.
2. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox Mem Fox’s rhyming baby book is simple and charming, with lovely watercolor illustrations by Helen Oxenbury. It’s also padded, so it’s not the end of the world if the corners and edges end up in your baby’s mouth. The story details the thing babies have in common all around the world—their cute little fingers and toes! We love the way it ends, with three kisses on the baby’s nose. You won’t be able to resist following suit!
3. Daddy Hugs by Karen Katz Storytime isn’t just for mommy. This book is perfect for daddy to read during some special baby bonding time! As the title suggests, it’s the ideal accompaniment for some hugs and kisses!
4. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd This classic book may have been a staple of your own bedtimes as a child! The sweet poems have a lulling, quieting effect—by the time you reach the whispered last lines, your baby will probably be fast asleep.
5. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper Another classic, this beloved children’s book was first published in 1930 and is still a worthwhile addition to your child’s collection. As your little one grows up, the encouraging positive message of the story will help them to believe in themselves and inspire them to overcome life’s challenges.
6. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Erica Carle Simple and fun, this modern classic is enjoyed by children all around the world. The die-cut pages are interesting for little hands to explore, and your baby will love looking at all the vibrantly colored illustrations. When they’re old enough to follow the story, the caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly is sure to delight them! You can’t really go wrong with stories! Pick up a book and share this magical experience with your baby.
For more must haves for your baby library, check out our baby book board on Pinterest Here