Teaching my kids to read has been one of the most rewarding aspects of parenting for me so far. It’s great to watch little ones as they start to pick up on letters and sounds and the fact that these little squiggles mean certain things. It’s always great to begin this routine as soon as possible; I think I started reading to my first son within days of bringing him home. But reading books to babies also helps them learn important lessons and new things that they might not get from watching things on TV. Here are ten books that I cannot suggest enough if you want to jump into the habit of reading to your newborn:
1. Pat the Bunny
This book is so cute and great for babies to begin to connect sounds and words with the things that they mean. Babies learn a great deal via sensory touch and connection to objects, so when they feel how soft Pat is, they begin to learn the concept of “soft” and the words associated with textures.
2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carl’s colorful illustrations are perfect for catching the a baby’s attention. Through those beautiful colors and pictures, they stay focused on the page while also learning about numerical concepts as you count along with all of the delicious looking treats that the Caterpillar eats.
3. Chika Chika ABC
As with the Very Hungry Caterpillar, these pictures keep a baby engaged while learning the alphabet, but also chanting along with the story of the coconut tree turns learning into a fun, rhythmic song while your baby starts to grasp the ABC’s. Bouncing your little one to “Chika Chika Boom Boom” is so much fun.
4. The Wheels on the Bus
Again, sing-a-long books are super fun to read to babies, and this classic song is a fun way to bring that extra element of dancing to learning about how things work and word associations for motion.
5. We’ve Seen Santa
This book by Tiffany Higgins is extra fun for the holiday season and showing your baby who Santa Claus is early will help them start forming memories early about who he is and the magic that he brings to the season. I like to pair this book with a specialized video from Santa with help from Free Video from Santa, who will make a specialized video to bring Jolly Old St. Nick to life for your kiddos!
6. Goodnight Moon
This is a wonderful bedtime story that is just classic and fun to read out loud. As you go through the book and say goodnight to everything in the book, go around your baby’s room and point those things out in real life so that they can say “Goodnight Moon” along with the story.
7. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
I love this book because pointing out things in the book translates easily to real life experiences, when you ask your baby what does the Brown Bear see, they begin to make the mental connection between pointing out things in the book and pointing out things in real life. My little one still sometimes will just burst out with “Brown Bear sees a truck!” when we’re driving in the car or “Brown Bear sees a bird” at the park. Object recognition is an odd thing to teach a child, but this book makes it easy.
8. Why Is Baby Crying?
Personally, I like this book because it’s a little cathartic. It’s a great story of parents who know how hard it is to calm a baby to sleep at night, and the illustrations are beautiful. I love this book because it’s a nice relief to read something that hits so close to home. And it works like a lullaby, the words are so soothing and soft that they put a baby to sleep in next to no time.
These eight books are time-tested classics that your children will love. Reading with your children every night can help them develop a lifelong love of reading. It’s never too early to start reading to them. These books are all age appropriate and will grow with your child. The quality time you spend reading together will also help you create deep and lasting bonds. So grab these classic children’s books from your local bookseller and start reading together tonight!