Reading is one of the important and easier ways to bond with your baby. It is never too early for your baby’s first books, because the baby enjoys the tone of your voice, sounds and it helps in developing the baby’s vocabulary as she grows. Even though the baby does not understand or respond to the content you read, she takes it all in and that helps in her verbal intelligence later when she starts to speak.
Start reading books for your baby from when she is 3 months old. She will be able to recognize objects and respond to sounds by the time she is 4 months. Every child is different and so is each child’s milestone. But parents need to make themselves available and encourage the kids (and not force) to reach their milestones but only when they are ready!
Touch and feel books
Touch and feel are the best first books for your baby. Choose the ones which have a single picture in a page. This makes it easier for the baby to recognize and learn the object. Make sure the books have pictures with bright colors and also have basic words like dad, mom, dog, cat etc. The book should have different textures in the pictures for the baby to feel the difference of each object since the baby’s sense of touch is developing.
May be a month or two later you can get ‘touch and feel’ books which have a couple or more pictures in a page and has sentences and questions for the baby. Though the baby can’t answer, this encourages the baby to speak and start a conversation.
Words book is the next thing your baby needs. Handy word books are available which have Fruits, Vegetables, Alphabets, numbers etc. Ensure the books have single picture per page and you can gradually get books which have more pictures per page like parts of body, emotions, shapes etc.
Language and Story books
Teaching the language of both the parents is more important (if you wish). If you think your baby has to speak the languages of both the parents you can get same set of books in both the languages. While reading stories for kids, choose stories which have a good moral. It helps in shaping the baby’s character. Folk tales are important for kids to learn about the culture they are born into. If parents are from different cultures, folk tales from both the cultures can be read to the baby.
No book can replace parents talking to the baby with a good warm snuggle. Just talk anything from what you wish to do the next day to your life’s goals. The baby grasps language by just listening to you. If you are bilingual or you want your child to learn the languages you speak. Speak!
Some examples of books available