A simple guide to reading to baby:

Here are some simple steps to help you through the read-aloud process.

  1. Grab a book! It seems obvious and it can be anything, however books with bright, solid images (black and white is especially good in the first few weeks), rhythmic text and shorter length might be best for the early months.
  2. Visit your local library. Along with an endless supply of books, there are many free activities to encourage a love of reading. Often when you sign baby up, you get a free book! Then check for ‘baby rhyme times’, which also give you an opportunity to meet other parents and make some new baby friends.

    Local libraries are a great place to start.
  3. Let baby hold the book and chew on it. Follow their lead (and chew on it too! 😉 ) and if they don’t want it right now, try again later. They may play around you or even crawl out of the room, try when they are in the bath or finishing a snack in their high chair.
  4. Eventually make a bedtime story part of the night time routine. It helps to signal that sleep time is soon, with a special bonding time before you part ways for the night.
  5. Make it fun! Use your silly voices and facial expressions. Sing and change your intonation. Skip parts of the book that seem to be taking too long to keep baby’s attention. Point out pictures and repeat words clearly.
  6. If you have a free hand, follow the text with a finger. This helps them see the connection of what you are saying and the ‘scribbles’ on the page.

    Books, books and more books!
  7. Talk and sing to baby often. It doesn’t matter if people look at you in the shops, perhaps they think you should sign up for ‘Australia’s Got Talent’?!
  8. Play games with baby at the supermarket and try to spot letters and numbers in a treasure hunt game.
  9. Relax and enjoy the bonding time you have with your little one. Before you know it, they will be running off keen for their first day of school, and you can feel comfortable that you gave them a good start.
  10. Keep reading to your children after they start school. Kids of all ages (and adults 😉 ) like a good book to be read to them.

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