The Importance of Reading to Your Baby
When should you start reading to your baby? How do you go about choosing the right books for your baby?
It is universally accepted that babies can hear outside the womb after about 20 weeks. By this time, babies are able to recognize their mother’s voice, heartbeat and movements. The bonding process between them is well underway.
Since babies are not typically in daddy’s tummy, it is highly recommended that men/partners use this time to read to the baby in the womb and start the bonding process by giving your baby an opportunity to hear and recognize your voice.
Reading to your partner’s tummy may seem unusual at first, but you will get used to it. Not only will you be bonding with your baby, but this activity will enhance your relationship with mommy, too!
Read, Read, Read
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you read to your baby every day until they enter kindergarten and beyond. Secondly, the AAP recommends no television until your baby is at least 2 years of age, so you may as well read, right?
In order to encourage your child to read, books should be given as gifts at every gift giving occasion.
A member of my extended family suggested buying boxes of used children’s books on Craigslist. You will get books that you have never heard of or would never have purchased in the store, but you will also find some real gems.
For your reference, I have added the age when your child should understand the concepts in the book. But don’t let that stop you … read, read and read some more!!!
Hot Tips From My Family and Friends
I turned to my family and friends and asked for a list of books they loved to read to their children.
My brother Pat’s advice, “As far as a new born, read them anything because it is all about how you read it. I used to read the newspaper.”
The Top Book
The book, “Love You Forever” (3+) by Robert Musch was mentioned most often as a favorite book of all. Based on responses, I would say that this book is a must for every child’s book shelf.
I will start with the most popular authors and their most popular books.
I will be reviewing many of the books as I read them to DJ. I have read this book and my review is coming soon.
Books by Dr. Seuss
- Oh, Baby, the Places You’ll Go! (written to be read to babies in the womb)
- The Foot Book (2+)
- One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (3+)
- Because a Little Bug Went Kachoo (3+)
- Go Dog Go (3+)
- Oh, The Places You’ll Go! (4+)
- The Cat in the Hat (4+)
- Green Eggs and Ham (4+)
- Hop on Pop (4+)
- Mr. Brown Can Moo Can You? (4+)
- Dr. Seuss’s ABC (4+)
- My Book about Me (4+)
- Fox in Socks (5+)
Books by Nancy Tillman
- It’s Time to Sleep, My Love (1+)
- On the Night You Were Born (1+)
- Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You (4+)
Books by Eric Carle
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar (2+)
- From Head to Toe (5+)
Books by Shel Silverstein
- The Giving Tree (4+)
- Where the Sidewalk Ends (6+)
- Sesame Street – various (2+)
- Berenstain Bears – Berenstain (3+)
- If You Give a (Mouse a Cookie) – Bonds (3+)
- Bear in the Big Blue House – Wier, Cherrington and Rillo (3+)
- Pete the Cat (I Love My White Shoes) – Eric Litwin (3+)
- Curious George – Rey and Rey (3+)
- The Frog and the (Toad) – Lobel (4+)
- Click Clack (Boom Boom) – Cronin (5+)
- The Magic Treehouse – Osborne (6+)
- Harry Potter – Rowling (9+)
- BOB Books – Maslen (various ages)
More great books you should read to your baby:
From the Womb and Beyond:
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – Martin and Archambault (2+)
- Where the Wild Things Are – Sendak (2+)
- Guess How Much I Love You – McBratney and Jeram (2+)
- I Love You to the Moon and Back – Hepworth and Warnes (2+)
- I Love You This Much – Hodges and Buchanar (2+)
- Good Night Moon – Brown (2+)
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus – Willems (2+)
- Make Way for Ducklings – McCloskey (2+)
- Danny and the Dinosaur – Syd Hoff (3+)
- One Drowsy Dragon – Long (3+)
- The Big Red Tub – Jarman and Reynolds (3+)
- The Kissing Hand – Penn (3+)
- Harold and the Purple Crayon – Johnson (3+)
- Imogene’s Antlers – Small (3+)
- The Very Cranky Bear – Kanellos (3+)
- The Day the Crayons Quit (3+)
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Potter (3+)
- The Napping House – Don and Audrey Wood (4+)
- The Story of Ferdinand (the Bull) – Leaf (4+)
- The Pokey Little Puppy – Sebring (4+)
- My Body is Private – Whitman (4+)
(if your child is going to the hospital)
- Curious George Goes to the Hospital – Rey (3+)
(If a family dog passes)
- I’ll Always Love You – Wilhem (3+)
Kindergarten and Beyond:
- Winnie the Pooh – Milne (5+)
- Personal Space Camp – Cook (5+)
- I just Don’t Like the Sound of No! – Cook (5+)
- Stuart Little – White (6+)
- Charlotte’s Web – White (7+)
- Frindle – Clements (8+)
- James and the Giant Peach – Dahl (8+)
- Moby Dick – Melville (8+)
- Swiss Family Robinson – Wyss (8+)
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – Baum (8+)
- Where the Red Fern Grows – Rawls (9+)
- The Princess Bride (10+)
- Treasure Island – Stevenson (10+)
- Old Yeller – Gipson (10+)
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Verne (12+)
- Around the World in 80 Days – Verne (12+)
Choosing and Reading the Right Books for Your Baby
I have added some links, which I believe you will find helpful.
The Grown-Up’s Guide to the Best Children’s Books
The 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time
20 Best Baby Books for His First Library
The 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time
Top 100 Children’s Novels
By Bill Robertson