There’s just nothing like buying books for a brand new baby bookworm! How precious those first reading snuggles are! I had the joy of attending a baby shower last week and learned of a new baby on the way for our dear friends. Yay for new bookworms-to-be!
Why read to the youngest bookworms-in-training?
I’ll admit it: I’ve felt at times that I was reading to my infants more for my grown up, librarian self than for the baby! While waiting for baby to arrive, I dreamed of snuggling my baby close and reading, so bleary eyed or not, I was reading to that baby! Maybe you wonder what the point is, since it seems like they are not aware of much in those early months. The truth is that they learn to associate the closeness, warmth of your body, and comforting sound of your voice with reading; reading becomes a desired, special time (hopefully for baby and grown up alike!). In that way, this time is a building block to reading. As a teacher, I was trained in backward design: begin planning curriculum by determining your desired end result. It’s true here, too! If you want your newborn to become a lifelong reader, start now!
What types of books should you look for?
Babies are learning to focus their eye muscles and respond well to high contrast images (black & white illustrations and patterns, like stripes/polka dots) and faces (particularly of other babies and also animals). Cloth books also are great to add to the toy bin since they’re washable and pretty much indestructible. This teaches them that books are FUN, not something that they’ll be scolded for exploring! They also can begin learning the concept of turning pages as they grab and find a new surprise when they move just right.
Spots and Dots by Chez Picthall
Baby Animals Black & White by Phyllis Limbacher Tildes
Look, Look! By Peter Linenthal
Baby! Baby! By Vicky Ceelen. This one looks to be out of print, but I just love it so much! Snatch it used for a penny!
Carry Me by Rena Grossman. I just adore this book of babywearers around the world!
Baby Giggles by Rachel Hale
Cloth Books (if you’re doing an online search, these are sometimes called ‘rag books’)
Baby’s Day: Cloth Book by Karen Katz
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman. With an attached plush bird to move throughout the story, this one is still loved by my toddler.
Baby Sign Language
Around here, we are big advocates of baby sign language. We began signing with both our kids before 6 months old, and it felt silly for quite a few months. But, it paid off! I’m working on a future post about our process and resources. For now, here are our two earliest favorites:
Baby Signs by Joy Allen
Signing Time! Playtime Signs by Rachel Coleman. We love Rachel Coleman’s Baby Signing Time DVD series. This book goes along with one of the DVDs but can certainly stand alone. We don’t do screentime before age 2 with the exception of Baby Signing Time- it’s that good.
Classics with messages that every child (and grown up, too) should hear! Unconditional love and snuggles!
I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
Counting Kisses by Karen Katz
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
This post contains affiliate links for your gift giving convenience; they should be available at your local library as well.
What about you? What were your Itty Bitty Bookworms’ favorite books?