5 Tips for Choosing a Baby Book

Don’t worry, you’re not the first mom to run out of things to say to your baby and you certainly won’t be the last. There are, after all, only so many times you can point out cows, explain the colors in the laundry basket and go through the parts of your baby. The more words babies are exposed to throughout the day, the more opportunity they have to develop their language skills. Investing in some decent baby books can help you keep talking without boring yourself. Here are some top tips for choosing a baby book:

  1. Babies love pictures

I know, you’re totally ready to get your childhood copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland down from the loft and start reading, but you might be better letting it gather dust for a few more years. Your baby is likely to be fascinated by bright colors and decorative illustrations. He loves listening to the sound of your voice and seeing the pictures on each page, but he’s probably not ready to follow the complex and mind-boggling adventures of young Alice just yet.

  1. Put yourself first

It’s a book for your baby, but your baby isn’t going to be the one forced to read it three times a day for the next two years. Nope, that’ll be you, so make sure you pick a book you love. Make sure you read before buying to make sure it’s a book you can read over and over again. Don’t worry, at some point it’s bound to get ‘lost’, all favorite books do.

  1. Get recommendations

Don’t judge a book by the cover and don’t base your purchasing decisions on online reviews. When it comes to kids books, parents are the best people to ask for advice. After all, they’re knee deep in bedtime stories. Speak to your mom friends, find out what books they love reading – and which they don’t.

  1. Don’t blow your budget

You can pick up secondhand books really cheaply at thrift stores and secondhand bookstores. There’s no need to splash out on the latest best seller, there are plenty of entertaining books that can be picked up for next to nothing. Instead of blowing your budget on one book, why not buy a few cheaper books? That way you’ll be able to mix it up each night and won’t tire quite so quickly of reading the same words over and over again.

  1. Get other people to do the work for you

Books make great gifts. If your baby has new toys and adorable outfits as far as the eye can see, it might be time to ask friends and family for books instead. The next time someone asks you what your baby might like as a present, you could suggest they give a copy of their favorite childhood book. You’ll get some new reading material and your baby will inherit a very special and sentimental gift.

Which is your favorite book to read to your child?

Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.

Let’s Read, Baby!

It’s never too early to start thinking about cultivating a love of reading. But how can you do this with the little bundle all swaddled in a blanket in the cradle?

Read to your baby. Even if you’re reading the New York Times to your newborn, he will not only enjoy hearing your voice, but will learn about sounds and patterns of sounds. Change the inflection of your voice, and read with feeling.

Tell your baby stories. You don’t need to be an expert storyteller or to know every detail of a fairy tale. Simply use your imagination and tell your baby a tale. Even if you’re talking about grocery shopping or changing his diaper, your baby will attend to the changes in your voice and will expand his vocabulary.

Your very young baby will prefer faces to any other pictures, so choose books accordingly. Consider books with textures and bright colors. As your reading, change the inflection of your voice, or make different voices for the different characters.

Make reading routine. Read a book or two to your child before nap time or bedtime every day. Be sure to follow your baby’s cues for when he’s had enough, though. Make sure your children see you reading, too! Children will imitate what they see you doing regularly.

Once your baby can start to handle books on his own, make sure he has lots of board books he can play with. He may chew the edges and not really understand going from start to finish, but the more you read the books out loud with baby in your lap, the more familiar he will become with a routine. After a while, try skipping a page of his favorite book, and you’ll see that he has already memorized it!

As your baby gets older, be sure to keep lots of books at baby-level (not on a high shelf). Allowing your baby to manipulate and play with books, in addition to reading books to him, will set him on a path to the love of the written word.

Take your baby to the library. Often the children’s department will have programs for different age levels. Ask a librarian for book recommendations, and tell your baby all about the wonders found behind a library’s doors.

Literacy is about more than just reading words on the page. Understanding conversation and context are also part of the equation. Every interaction you have with your baby – from birth on – helps baby to read signals around him, from body language to feelings to vocabulary and more.

Written by Michelle, childbirth instructor, lactation consultant, and mother to 4 busy kids

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice.  All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.