There are so many benefits to introducing books with babies and toddlers early on. Reading books can:
- Develop your child’s understanding and use of language
- Build vocabulary
- Develop turn-taking skills
- Help your child follow directions
- Develop listening and attention skills
- Promote bonding between parent/caregiver and child
- Reading books is fun!
So you might be wondering what kind of books to introduce with your child at this stage? Here are some of my recommendations:
Babies love to pull and tear as they explore their new world so board books are best in the beginning. Use books that have nice clear pictures, ideally one picture per page. Books with too much going on aren’t great to start with. You want your baby to be able to focus on the picture and attach meaning to it.
Touch & Feel Books
Touch and feel books are another great option to introduce early on. The different textures in these books are great for encouraging exploration. Babies are learning through their senses from the moment they are born so it is important that we provide them with a variety of sensory stimulation.
Introduce a goodnight book into your child’s bedtime routine early on. Choose a book that allows you to use social words such as ‘night night’. Books with lots of repetition are great as they allow lots of opportunity for your child to hear the words.
Lift-the-flap books/ Books with Sound
One of the foundation blocks for the development of speech and language skills is the ability to detect sound and attach meaning. Sound books are great for developing this skill.
Plastic books are a great way of stimulating language learning while in the bath.
Nursery Rhyme Books
Children learn language through repetition and it is through songs and nursery rhymes that they learn about voice and rhythm of speech. Take your child on your lap and have fun reading nursery rhyme books together. Make some little actions to go with the rhymes and keep them consistent. Your child will soon begin to copy you! As your child becomes more familiar with the rhymes, pause and wait. They might just attempt to finish the rhyme for you.
Introduce some very basic category books such as toys, animals or food items. You’re now beginning to lay the foundations for developing your child’s categorisation skills and encouraging those first words.