Reading to your newborn can seem like no easy task. At this stage, the attention span is non-existent, and it may be hard to find time to settle down for a book. But research has found that reading to your baby has numerous benefits. Newborns who are regularly read to grow up to have a larger vocabulary and better math skills. This communication will not only bolster your baby’s brain but will also allow you additional time to bond with your baby. Taking time out of each night to read together will also help you create a routine that will be instrumental when it’s time to establish a bedtime. If you want to start this habit, the first thing to do is build a library your whole family will love.
Before the Baby Arrives
If your friends and family are throwing you a shower, ask them to include a note on the invitation requesting that the guests pick out and sign board books in lieu of greeting cards. Most likely, your guests will love this change. It allows them to spend their money on something that won’t end up in the recycling bin, and it will be a keepsake you’ll remember for years to come. Through this, you’ll end up with some great classics as well as some fun contemporary books.
Add in Classics
Ask your parents what your favorite book was as a child and have your partner ask his parents as well. Add these in so you can revisit the stories while creating new memories. Since your midwife will be such a crucial part of your birthing experience, you can also ask her what her favorite board book is and have her write a note. After that, find some favorite classics. Goodnight Moon is always soothing, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar is fun to flip through. Meanwhile, stories like Where the Wild Things Are will prepare you for the ever-looming toddler stage.
Find Some Fun Stories
At this point, some of the books might be a little more for the parents than for the baby. Luckily, we live in a time where children’s books are fun for all ages! Feel free to find stories that cater to your interests while also entertaining your baby. Here’s a short list of the many, many options out there.
This set of board books breaks scientific concepts down into bite-sized pieces that will help your growing child understand complex ideas like gravity, coding, and thermodynamics. While your baby might not understand these initially, they’ll be entertained by the toys and animals that explain these theories.
Introduce your baby both to counting and classic literature with this sweet book. It condenses the love story down and counts various things from the original such as the Bennet sisters and marriage proposals. Through the Babylit series, you can also teach your baby French through Les Miserables, Spanish through Don Quixote, and colors through Alice and Wonderland.
Newborns respond best to rhythm, and Sandra Bouton’s book will not disappoint. The book leads farmyard animals through a dance. Your baby will love the sounds of the animals as they gleefully prance through the fields and stables, and you’ll have a great time reading it!
Babies don’t see much color until they’re around five months. Look Look catches their attention by using black and white to create contrasting colors. Your baby will love looking through this book with you and seeing the artful illustrations.
This bilingual book will help your baby adjust to hearing multiple languages. The story switches between Spanish and English. With “besos” meaning “kisses,” it’s also a good way to sneak in some extra cuddles!
This might be a bit more indulgent for the parents, but ABC-3PO is a book that teaches your child the alphabet through Star Wars characters. This one might be a better one to read with slightly older children, but is it ever too early to share this love with your children?
This fun book is a great way to teach your child about his body through rhyme and movement. As your child gets older, he’ll love acting out the lines. It’s a fantastic book that you both will enjoy for years to come.
Baby sign language is a perfect way to learn to communicate with your baby before she’s able to get a grasp on words. This book will help you and your baby learn these signs together through sweet illustrations and clear instructions.
Reading with your baby is an activity that will forge a bond in those early months. Even if your child doesn’t seem engaged, you’re instilling a love of reading that will last for years and years. Remember, “children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” It’s never too early to sit down and enjoy a great book together!