Reading aloud to your baby teaches them about communication, stimulates brain and language development, introduces concepts such as numbers, letters, colours and shapes, builds listening, memory and vocabulary skills and gives babies information about the world around them. When reading, your child hears you using different emotions and sounds, which fosters emotional and social development.
Babies have short attention spans (of about three minutes) so only read when your baby is interested; it’s better to read a few times a day rather than forcing a longer session.
Reading books should be an enjoyable and fun experience for you and your baby, make reading time special with cuddles and helping them make the connection between what they love the most; you and books.
Babies love to experiment with books to find out how they open and close and which way is up. When your child begins to sit up in the bathtub or eat finger foods, find simple stories about daily routines, including nap and bedtime.
Baby and toddler story times are an excellent time to meet other families…make sure you join activities offered by your local library.
Don’t forget that as with everything, you are the best role model for your little reader. Have books around your house and make sure that there are fun books in their pile of toys for them to explore.
The best books for babies have simple, repetitive text that give you a chance to talk about the pictures in your own words, mirrors and different textures (crinkly, soft and scratchy) and high contrast images with a dark outline.
Books for young babies – High contrast board books are specially designed to catch and keep the attention of very young babies, who will stare at black and white books as they work on their focusing skills. No words allow you to make up your own story.
Hoban, Tana. Black on White.
Books for older babies provide easy repetitive text helps babies acquire new words and concepts.
Ormerod, Jan. Peek-a-boo!
Hill, Eric. Where’s Spot?
Katz, Karen. Counting Kisses.
Books with clear pictures
Murphy, Mary. I Kissed the Baby.
Cousins, Lucy. Maisy Drives.
Parr, Todd. Do’s and Don’ts .
Books with baby faces
Miller, Margeret. Baby Faces.
Christian, Cheryl. Where’s The Baby?
Ellwand, David. Big Book Of Beautiful Babies.
Intrater, Roberta Grobel. Eat! Or Smile!
Books about familiar things
Hindley, Judy. Baby Talk.
Canizares, Susan. Babies On The Move.
O’Hair, Margaret. Star Baby.
Isadora, Rachel. Peekaboo Morning.
Books about baby’s day
Garland, Sarah. Splash! And Zoom!
Reid, Barbara. Zoe’s Rainy Day.
Animal books for babies
Christian, Cheryl. Where’s the Puppy?
Wood, Jakki. Moo Moo Brown Cow.
Williams, Sue and Julie Vivas. I Went Walking.
Concept books for babies
Patricelli, Leslie. Big Little.
Bruna, Dick. Miffy’s Counting Book.
Bedtime books for babies
Wise, Margaret. Goodnight Moon.
Jam, Teddy. Night Cars.
Bang, Molly. Ten, Nine, Eight.
Wells, Rosemary. Max’s Breakfast and Max’s Bedtime.
Boynton, Sandra. The Going to Bed Book.
Sign language books
Acredolo, Linda. My First Baby Signs.
Votry, Kim. Baby’s First Signs.
Nursery rhyme books for babies provide rhythmic language and support many important early literacy skills.
Rupnik, Louise. My Bedtime Book of Favourite Nursery Rhymes.
Wells, Rosemary. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
Long, Sylvia. Hush Little Baby.
Naman, Evelyn. Folk Rhymes from Around the World.