Sharing stories is not just for older children
It’s never too early to start sharing stories with your baby. Young babies may not be able to understand what you are saying, but they love to hear your voice and see the expressions on your face.
For first time parents, it can be scary bringing a newborn home but spending time reading to your baby can also have the added benefit of calming you both down and, if you’re lucky, sending them off to sleep.
Tips for sharing books with babies
For very young babies choose books that have simple words and big pictures with limited colours as their vision is still developing. Reading to a young baby is an interactive activity, treat it like a conversation.
Make sure they can see your face and take turns, leaving time for your little one to respond. Their response may be a sound, a smile, a movement or even a burp. You can say something else, then wait again. These conversations aren’t just limited to when you share a story; you can have them as a part of your everyday routines, when you change their nappy, feed them, do tummy time or bath them.
Reading and cuddling with your baby every day not only helps build a bond and memories to share, it’s also a brilliant excuse to stop all the other “busy” work that’s part of any parent’s day as you know that sharing stories is also important work, and that you are building their language and communication skills (plus it’s more fun than folding the laundry!).
Before you know it, your baby will be chattering away to you and asking you to share their favourite story over and over again.
Books to share with young babies
Moo, ba, la la la! by Sandra Boynton
Look look by Peter Linenthal
Brown bear, Brown bear, what do you see? by Bill Martin Jnr and Eric Carle
Wibble, wobble by Catherine Hnatov
- Try positioning your baby so they can see your face while you read
- Choose books with big pictures and limited colours
- Treat sharing stories as an interactive activity