When my twin boys were born, I was very excited to read to them. They had received a lot of neat books as gifts, and I was looking forward to sharing their books with them. Here are some of my favorite tips for reading to your baby.
Introducing Your Baby to the World of Books
What I wasn’t expecting was them not focusing on a book for more than a second or two so I could read to them! Reading to babies can be challenging when there are so many things in the world to explore, but here are some tips that have worked for me.
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Board Books vs. Cloth Books
There are many different types of books available for babies. Board books and cloth books work best for babies so they can handle them and drool on them without doing much damage to them.
Board books can be easily wiped off if they get dirty, but they can still be ripped if your baby or toddler is hard enough on them. We had to replace a couple of our favorite board books! They are still very sturdy though and can handle some rough handling.
Cloth books can stand up a little better to rough handling. If you like to sew, there are some fun cloth books you can put together for your baby in an hour or less.
Capture Your Baby’s Interest
If your baby isn’t interested in one type of book, keep introducing different books until you find one he is interested in. One of my sons loves books with pictures of real babies in them. He loves to look at their smiling faces.
For Christmas he received a board book called “Tom Arma’s Paw Print Parade”. My son has another board book called “Happy Baby Words”. This book pictures babies getting dressed, eating, etc. He loves to look at the pictures in that book.
My other son loves cloth books. Sesame Street has a book called “Get Dressed with Elmo” that is his favorite. This is an interactive book where a toddler can zip zippers, fasten buttons, attach velcro, etc. A baby can’t do these activities, of course, but my son loves to flip the soft pages and play with the items in the book.
Read to Your Baby Every Day
My twin boys are 10 1/2 months old, and I find that they will look at books by themselves longer than they will let me read to them. I make sure to have books in every room of the house that they find when they are crawling around, and they will stop and look at them (of course they are finding my books too!).
They especially like looking at books in bed. When they are going to sleep they will lie in their beds and roll around with their favorite book in their hands. I’ve peeked in their room to find one of them sitting in his bed turning the pages of his favorite Elmo book. If I were to try to read it to him he would instantly try to crawl away.
Don’t Give Up, It Takes Time
I figure just exposing my boys to books at this age will influence their desire to want to read, even if they don’t feel like indulging my desire to read to them. I have found one time they will let me read to them, however…when I plop them in bed! Right when the tears are about to start I pull out their favorite book and read it to them in their crib.
One son stands holding on to the edge of his crib (hoping I’ll change my mind and pick him back up) while I read his book to him. I have a captive audience and they are distracted from their initial reaction to being put in bed. After I read their stories they generally let me leave without a fuss!