As if feeding and soothing a newborn to sleep while being sleep deprived is not tiring enough. Parents still have to squeeze in time to read to their babies? With that said, try not to stress over what you’re reading to your baby, there are no perfect books. The key is to consistently read to your baby, and approach it as a fun bonding activity instead of a chore.
It is never too early to start reading to your newborn. If you haven’t already made it a habit, try starting today with just 4 to 5 pages of a simple board book - you don’t have to finish the entire book if your baby has a short attention span. Every small step counts, you’ve got this!
Why Reading To Your Baby Is Important
It fosters language development and object recognition skills
While your baby doesn't understand what you're saying, they will begin to pick up the rhythm, tones and inflections of your voice. Reading also introduces them to basic words and concepts like colours, shapes, letters, numbers, and to objects around them.
It promotes parent and child bonding time
Having that one-on-one attention with your baby strengthens your bond. Furthermore, reading exposes them to the sound of your voice, which is soothing and strengthens your emotional connection.
It introduces them to emotions
Babies tend to mimic expressions and sounds that you make. While reading to your baby, they aren’t just looking at the pictures in the book, they’re also observing your facial expressions and tone of voice. This exposes them to feelings through different sounds you use when reading.
It nurtures a habit of reading from a young age
Making reading part of your daily schedule will allow your child to associate reading as something fun and enjoyable. This attitude will foster a love of reading in your child that will take him through school and adulthood.
It provides your child with educational success in the future
Research has shown a direct link between how many words a baby hears each day and his language skills. One study found that babies whose parents spoke to them a lot scored higher
on tests when they reached age 3 than children whose parents weren't as verbal.
This educational advantage will further continue on into their later schooling years, as having better language skills allows them to grasp concepts and progress faster.
Types of Books for Newborns and Infants
For the youngest of readers, selecting simple and colourful board books is key. A board book is made of sturdy thick cardboard pages which are perfect for little hands. They are also more durable and not easily torn. Here are some other tips on how to select a board book for your baby:
Images and illustrations should be big, bright or have high contrasts
There should be little or no text, or text that is rhyming and repetitive
Babies also love interactive elements like flaps, textured patterns, and sound books
Best Board Books for Newborns and Infants
Here’s a list of our favourite baby board book authors and their most popular titles.
1) The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
Other popular children’s books by Sandra Boynton
Moo, Baa, La La La!
But Not the Hippopotamus
Belly Button Book
Buy The Going to Bed Book here.
2) Counting Kisses by Karen Katz
Other popular children’s books by Karen Katz
Where is Baby’s Belly Button
Buy Counting Kisses here.
3) Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr
Other popular children’s books by Bill Martin Jr
Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?
Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You Hear?
Panda Bear Panda Bear What Do You See?
Buy Chicka Chicka Boom Boom here.
4) Look, Look! By Peter Linenthal
Other popular children’s books by Peter Linenthal
Look Look Outside!
Look at the Animals!
Look at Baby’s House!
Buy Look, Look! here.
5) Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury
Other popular children’s books by Helen Oxenbury
Buy Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes here.
6) First 100 Words by Roger Priddy
Other popular children’s books by Roger Priddy
Buy First 100 Words here.
7) Potty by Leslie Patricelli
Other popular children’s books by Leslie Patricelli
Buy Potty here.
8) Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
Other popular children’s books by Sam McBratney
You’re All My Favourites
Will You Be My Friend
I Love It When You Smile
Buy Guess How Much I Love You here.
9) Where’s Spot by Eric Hill
Other popular children’s books by Eric Hill
Spot Says Goodnight
Spot Looks at Opposites
Spot Goes to the Farm