Menu

Reading to Baby

Help your baby become a bookworm with these reading tips and book recommendations from Home Grown Books founder Kyla Ryman.

Reading to Baby

“As soon as an infant can sit on a caregiver’s lap, the child can learn to associate the act of reading with a sense of being loved.” -- Maryanne Wolf, Proust and the Squid

It’s never too early to begin reading to your baby. The language of books is different than how we speak; when you read to them, they hear the rhythm and cadence of a written story, associate it with art and images, and discover the magic of books. Babies also learn to associate books with a warm, cuddly, intimate time of attention and wonder. Reading to your baby can happen anytime. It provides a great baby distraction while riding the subway or standing in line at the supermarket. But it’s also wonderful to establish routines that go along with reading. The obvious time to pick up a book is before bed, but try reading during lunch if you are home together, or any other time you want to relax and cuddle. There are so many wonderful book options for kids of all ages, including the youngest baby and toddler. The selection of board books is astounding. A book that rhymes is great -- babies and toddlers love to play with language, and this sets them up with great beginning reading skills. Early readers also enjoy themes about things they love: families, home, pets. They appreciate crazy illustrations and wild, imaginative art, and books that make you interact -- like guessing what comes next -- create excitement. But, truly, you can read from anything: the cookbook while making dinner, the note from your neighbor, your grocery list. Besides the classics we all love, there are some new titles that are pushing the boundaries of baby books in interesting ways. Two companies even make board books inspired by classic literature. Babylit has wonderful graphics and uses themes like numbers to make counting books out of classics like Moby Dick, while Cozy Classics introduces classic story lines in the simplest way possible. Go ahead, let your baby chew on some Pride and Prejudice. Here are a few more fun new books on the market: The Conductor by Laetitia Devernay. This is a wordless picture book with beautiful illustrations. It is fun to make up the story you imagine and play with possibilities with this gorgeous tale. Put On Your Shoes! by Dan Stiles. This one is for toddlers and parents. We feel the frustration of trying to get a kid to put on their shoes, but the excuses are funny and outrageous. The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood. A sweet book that examines all the different kinds of quiet. You and your baby will enjoy thinking of more together. You Are My Baby Farm by Lorena Siminovich from Petit Collage. A good vocabulary builder, and what toddler doesn’t love matching up mommy and baby animals? Extreme Opposites by Max Dalton. Awesome graphic illustrations and more fun playing with language. Press Here by Herve Tullet. Take your baby on this imagination journey, it will really open doors. Does your baby have a big sib? Check out Kyla Ryman's Home Grown Books for eco-friendly options for beginning readers. Illustration by Ideal Bookshelf.  

In This Article

    You will always be their safe space, mama

    You are their haven. Their harbor. Their sanctuary, their peace. You are comfort. Deep breaths. Hugs and back rubs. You're a resting place, a nightmare chaser, a healer. You are the calm within their storm. You are their mother.

    To your child, you are safety. You are security. You are where (out of anyone or any place), they can come undone. Where they can let it all out, let it all go. Where they meltdown, break down, scream, cry, push.

    Where they can say—"I AM NOT OKAY!"

    Where they can totally lose it. Without judgment or fear or shame.

    Because they know you'll listen. They know you'll hear them. That you will help piece the mess back together.

    Keep reading Show less
    Life

    It’s science: Vacations make your kids happy long after they’re over

    Whether you're planning a quick trip to the lake or flying the fam to a resort, the results are the same: A happier, more connected family.

    Whether you're looking for hotels or a rental home for a safe family getaway, or just punching in your credit card number to reserve a spot in a campground a couple of states over, the cost of vacation plans can make a mom wince. And while price is definitely something to consider when planning a family vacation, science suggests we should consider these trips—and their benefits—priceless.

    Research indicates that family vacations are essential. They make our, kids (and us) happier and build bonds and memories.

    Keep reading Show less
    News

    Kate Hudson’s kids prove that siblings with a big age gap can still have a close bond

    These pics of a big brother and baby sister are too sweet.

    Ryder Robinson

    To be born close in age to your siblings is a special experience. You have a built-in playmate and BFF for life, but being born after an age gap certainly has its benefits, too.

    Parents who are expecting again when their older children are already into double digits may wonder what the sibling bond will look like when the kids have more than a decade between them. Well, look no further, because Kate Hudson's oldest son, 14-year-old Ryder Robinson took to Instagram to show the world that while he and baby Rani Rose may not be playmates they have an equally powerful sibling bond.

    Keep reading Show less
    News