They can’t read (yet), but literacy is still important for our little ones.
Here are some of our recommendations of the best books for babies.
Most parents have heard about the importance of reading to their children but, more often than not, don’t know why it’s important. What if we told you that reading to your baby could give them a leg up in school? I’ll bet we’ve got your attention now.
Before we answer “What are the best read-aloud books for babies?” we first need to tell you the “why” behind reading. It’s so much more than words on pages; reading can strengthen speech, phonics, spelling, and more.
So what are the best books for babies, and why is it so important to read to them regularly? Read on to find out.
Why is reading so important?
Reading has many real life benefits for your babies and toddlers. From bonding to language development, there really is no downside to reading to children (except the never ending requests for “one more book, PLEASE”).
Read the following list to see what major impacts reading has on children.
Reading books for babies (and older kids, too!) provides individualized and focused attention on your children. So much of our days are taken up by meals, redirection, self play, homework, work, and other obligations that we forget that babies love quality time with their parents.
Trust us, we know it can be hard to set aside these moments, especially after a long day at work, but your child will benefit immensely from this bonding opportunity.
Even before they can speak, your baby is learning the language they are most exposed to. They learn diction, pronunciation, phonics, and all of the aspects that make up language.
When we read books to babies, they pick up the changes in our voice (like how your voice goes up when you ask a question), and they can hear how your voice changes during the action part of a book as opposed to the ending.
Picture books or a rhyming book are also great tools to help your child learn to speak, as they are exposed to new words they might not otherwise hear in a typical day.
It’s very unlikely that your baby will know their letters at nine months old. Still, when reading a book, they see the letters on the pages and begin to understand that these letters form words.
While some parents may not see the point, pointing to words and reading the letters can play an essential part in understanding how letters form words and the sounds they make (such as how the word “cat” can be broken down into its individual sounds).
Take this extra time to provide some education to your baby. Counting the stars on a goodnight page or counting the chickens the farmer has not only supplies your baby with those extra words but teaches them counting too!
When your baby is interested in the book you’re reading, encourage them to point to things they like. If they point to the wrong thing, that’s ok! Gently correct them and tell them what they pointed to and then guide them to the correct item. This helps with those motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Reading shouldn’t be only for education. It should be for fun! Remember, a baby’s job is to play, learn, and explore.
Best Books For Babies
Now that you know why reading is important, we can help you find the best books for babies. The honest answer is that—as long as they are at the child’s age level—there really are no “bad” books for your child.
That being said, here is a list of some award-winning and classic books for babies we think you’ll enjoy.
- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
- Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
- Counting Kisses by Karen Katz
- Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers
- Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker
- I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont
- Where is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz
- Baby Signs by Joy Allen
- Time For Bed by Mem Fox
- The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
- Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Dr. Seuss
- The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! by Mo Willems
Reading to your baby is a fantastic bonding opportunity for your entire family. Not only does it foster uninterrupted time with your baby, but it also helps them learn the language you’re speaking.
Remember, reading time doesn’t have to last several hours. Even one or two small books will fascinate your baby, help them calm down before bed, and ultimately, learn.
If you have any questions about your baby’s development or how often we recommend reading, call Kid Care Pediatrics for an appointment, and we can discuss it. We are always here to help.