Baby Reading Tips

 

Reading personalized baby books

Reading to children from as soon as they are born has shown to have a tremendous impact on a child’s developing brain, especially their language skills and vocabulary. When it comes to reading to babies, it helps to know where and how to start, so here are a few helpful tips:

Birth to 6 months: Since the vision of an infant is still developing during these early months, it helps to choose books with little or no text and big, high-contrast pictures. Books that have interactive elements like textures, fabrics, mirrors, peepholes, popups and other inserts can also help babies learn as well as stimulate their still-developing brains. For parents, even choosing to read a brightly printed magazine on glossy paper can make for good baby-reading time – since the words are not yet important at this stage, kids can still learn by looking and they can still benefit from simply spending time with you and hearing the tone of your voice.

7 to 12 months: Before they are a full year old, children begin to grasp language and may already have a very basic vocabulary. Even if they aren’t speaking yet, they likely have an understanding of some basic words. In this vein, picking books that are about just one object or person per age are best; hearing you name something your baby recognizes reinforces their vocabulary and helps them realize that the words are linked to the illustrations, so make sure to point to the right pictures at the right times!

Acting out what you read with your face, hands, and voice can help, too. Let your baby babble back to you in response. Doctors suggest that this “conversation” can help them learn to take turns and teaches them about focusing on the same thing as someone else while also boosting communication skills.

Reading Personalized baby Books

For both ages under the one-year mark, you may want to stick to board books or fabric books, something that can withstand your child playing with them – and this sort of behavior should be encouraged at this stage. Kids learn by feeling, and sometimes tasting, so when they are very young they will explore new objects by physically touching them or even trying to gnaw on them to get an idea for what they are and how they feel.

13 to 18 months: As kids get older, you can begin introducing books with more than one sentence per page. Also, acting out the story and really getting into the dialogue can be extra effective around this age. When reading animal noises, be sure to imitate their sounds. When your child begins to mimic you, they will also be learning. After a while, ask them what sounds the animals make and so on. Ask them where the animals/subjects are in the illustrations.

15 to 18 months: Your baby may be able to answer questions with a word, so give them the opportunity to identify images they know by asking, “What’s that?” If they respond, you can try adding adjectives, sounds, colors, or other things you can use to describe the image and further boost their vocabulary.

19 to 24 months: At this age, many toddlers find the familiar routine of reading as reassuring and calming, and they may find a similar comfort when it comes to the same familiar books as well. Around 18 months, children may begin to ask for the same book over and over and over. This can help kids develop a love of reading, but as they become more and more familiar with the same book it also allows them to learn new words on top of the ones they have already memorized.

5 Must-Have Baby Books for Boys

baby books for boys

So you’re the proud parents of a bouncing baby boy. In addition to nurturing and caring for him, you’re going to want to give him a fantastic childhood and prepare him as best as you can for a successful future. That often starts with reading to your child from a young age and encouraging language skills, critical thinking, creativity, and more through books.

Here are 5 Must-Have Baby Books for the little blue-blanketed bundle of joy in your life:

1- Customized Fill in the Blank

Customized baby books are a fun and unique gift for a child, but they also provide a treasured family heirloom for your child as he grows. You can pick something specific to maintaining a record of your baby’s firsts — from a book that provides space for you to record details and special memories to a Sesame Street themed book that will teach your child about important first experiences like using the toilet, playing on the playground, and more. If you want something more playful, there are plenty of options for personalized books that can be customized with your child’s name and make them part of the story. Rather than speaking to their specific life experience, it will make them feel special by including them as a character in a book.

2- Superheroes

Little boys (and not so little) love superheroes — get them a book featuring their favorite heroes or comic book characters that they’ll want to revisit again and again. You can get them a picture book featuring their favorite heroes from the Justice League to the Avengers (or go even more specific with Spiderman, Batman, Superman, and more). If you want something more generic, but still love the idea of a book featuring a caped crusader, try something like Superhero ABC by Bob McLeod, which will teach your son his ABC’s featuring an alphabet’s worth of superheroes.

baby books for boys

3- Sports

Chances are your son is likely to be a sports fan at some point, whether he’s playing Little League, AYSO soccer, or just rooting on your family’s favorite teams. Capture that love of sport early with baby books that make use of yours (and his) favorite sports. Get him a personalized book making him the star of his own football, baseball, soccer, or hockey game. Or there’s loads of fun picture books out there that use sports in their storytelling from Bill Martin Jr.’s Swish, which chronicles the last minutes of an exciting basketball game, to Little Granny Quarterback, a fun rhyming tale of a grandmother who goes back to help her football team win the big game. No matter whether you’re a baseball lover or a basketball fan, there’s a sports themed book out there for you and your little one.

4- Classics

Classics are classics for a reason — choose a time-honored children’s book to share with your song and create an even more special bond if it’s one of your favorites from childhood. From the delight of The Very Hungry Caterpillar to the lesson of the importance of perseverance and TLC in The Carrot Seed, there’s no shortage of classic children’s books to choose from. If you’re looking for something playful, try the rhyming animal lesson in Is Your Mama a Llama?. Or maybe you just want something that expresses how much tenderness and love you have for your new baby — Guess How Much I Love You shares that beautiful theme accompanied by lovely illustrations.

5- Books that Encourage Learning

One of the main reasons to read to your child as a baby is to help cultivate their language skills and promote critical thinking. Many children’s books are specifically designed to help teach your ABCs, counting, or more complicated tenets of wordplay and more.

Tana Hoban’s 26 Letters and 99 cents will help your child grasp letters and numbers (as well as some aspects of currency) with colorful pictures and an emphasis on patterns that reinforce learning, while Chris Van Allsburg’s The Z Was Zapped makes every letter in the alphabet memorable with an illustration for each letter involved in a letter-specific act. Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom is a fun rhythmic play on the ABCs and Jamberry is a fabulous choice for helping small children learn the sounds of our language and gain valuable building blocks for further reading.

No matter what you want your son to learn, there’s a book out there that will turn it into a fun storytelling experience. That’s why it’s easier than ever to teach your son the joy of reading from his earliest days!