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Books for Babies? Yes!

by Lori Sciame | January 21st, 2011 | Infants/Toddlers

Baby showers provide parents with many of the essentials for raising a healthy, happy little one. From car seats to cute and cuddly stuffed animals, parents-to-be receive practical and not-so-practical items alike.

Most of the time, however, books are not on the gift list. Why? Because many people believe that children cannot develop a love for reading until they are pre-school age or even ready for kindergarten.

The truth is, children begin to love words as infants, and even before birth babies can recognize his or her parent’s voice. While pregnant, the mother (or the father if he is close enough to the womb) can read out loud during quiet moments. After the child is born, reading to the infant can continue during intimate times, such as while nursing/bottle feeding or while cuddling.

As the baby grows, high quality picture books can provide him or her with hours of fun. In the beginning, children love the bright colors, and they delight in learning how to hold the book and how to turn the pages. But as the months pass, they also begin to associate meaning with the words.

An added bonus is that reading a book can become part of baby’s bedtime ritual. Every parent knows that getting an infant/toddler to settle down to sleep can be difficult. Reading a soothing, sing-song story can relax a child, and in time, work to signal the end of a fun-filled day.

There really are no negatives associated with reading to a child. Even if a parent has difficulty reading themselves due to dyslexia or other issues, the fact that he or she makes reading a priority sends a powerful message that communication and learning are traits to be valued. A sad fact is that one in four children grow up unable to read. This does not have to happen, because parents and other family members can plant the seeds to foster a life-long love of words.

So the next time you are invited to a baby shower, remember – books for babies! From stories about “grouchy ladybugs” to classic nursery rhymes, books benefit babies (and parents) in so many ways.

Three Quick Tips for Buying Books for Babies

1. Make sure the book is baby-proof. (There should be no parts that can come off and choke the baby, including buttons, strings, etc.)
2. Books need to be small enough for little hands to grasp.
3. Pick books with colorful pictures.

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