Reading aloud to babies is one of the most effective ways to foster early literacy skills. Here are our 20 best baby books for baby’s first library.
Next time you visit your baby’s doctor, you may get a somewhat surprising prescription: Reading.
That’s right—the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently recommended that doctors encourage parents to read aloud to children every day starting as early as birth(!) and continuing up until kindergarten and beyond.
How reading helps children
1. Improves literacy skills
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics report, reading aloud to babies and young kids is one of the most effective ways to foster early literacy skills. And early, consistent parent-child reading is a key factor responsible for eventual reading success.
Additional studies suggest that when we read to babies, they grow into children who have larger vocabularies and even more advanced math skills.
Through reading, your newborn will also eventually begin to pick up on changes in tone and inflection that will teach him about language and reading on his own, as well as the fact that different sounds and tones are used to convey certain emotions and feelings (source).
2. Improves bonding
Research also shows that reading to a baby—even a baby as young as a newborn—can promote bonding. Even if it doesn’t seem like your baby is paying attention, think of this as a time to be close—to snuggle up together and soothe baby with your heart beat and the sound of your voice.
You’re also modeling good behavior from a very early age, and showing your child that reading is a fun, interactive activity with importance.
But not enough kids are reading
Also according to the report, more than one third of children in the United States start kindergarten unequipped with the literacy skills they need. Can you believe that?!
We’re big readers at our house, but still. This is a major wakeup call for us.
We read several books aloud with Griffin every night before bedtime. But our squirrely seven-month old Paloma? Not so much. But that’s about to change—both because of this study, and because she’s just getting old enough to engage with a book.
So it’s time to dust off some of our best baby books, including the titles listed below.
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20 best baby books for your little one’s first library