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Books: good to read, good to chew on

According to one mom, the earlier the better for reading to your baby. And it won't hurt if the books are good for chewing on, too.
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Some research says that six-month-olds are not ready for books, which I personally disagree with.

I haven't had the luxury of doing an enormous study but I did read to Cedar practically from birth and by a year and a half he'd sit and look at books on his own. Now have a six-year-old who really loves story time. So I'm going with the earlier you start the better.

However, there's a difference between reading to your baby and making reading time fit your baby.

For instance, while your little one is still into eating rather than reading make sure you offer her books she can safely nibble. There are plenty of baby-proof, rip-free, fabric and soft plastic books out there. She can see words but not seriously harm the book.

Look at the book; don't simply read. It's okay to flip through a book and just talk about it with your baby or toddler. Ask questions about the pictures or place your finger on a picture or word and say it.

Grab a good mix. I've never limited the books I've read to Cedar by reading level. If he picks out a book "meant" for three- or nine-year-olds I don't argue. He loves books for many age groups and is even starting to like books with few pictures like Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Don't say no to repeats. Your baby and soon-to-be toddler will fall in love with certain books and you should read them over and over if that's what she wants. The first word Cedar ever recognized and pointed out on his own was a hard word. It was "Harold" which is likely due to the fact that he's made me read Harold and the Purple Crayon about 1,345 times.

Keep books within easy reach but make book rules. I'm pretty chill and we don't have all that many rules at my house. But since Cedar was a baby, I have stressed that he doesn't hurt books EVER. You don't color in them, rip them, step on them, etc. I have always kept his library of books where he can reach them and he's never hurt one yet. If you make books important, your baby will realize from the start that they are.

Don't just read at bedtime. Read as often as possible and give books, not toys, as some of your baby's birthday and holiday gifts.

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  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 4reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I completely agree! I was a teacher before I was able to become a stay at home mom with my little man and I believe it is never too early to read to a child! I have been reading to my son since he was in the womb! He is 7 months now and from a very early age he has been very engaged while I read to him. He will look at the pictures I point to on the page. He will also look up at me and watch me read the book then look back to the book... as if he is processing that the words I am speaking are from what is on the pages- he's starting to grasp the concept :) Now, he even enjoys helping me turn the pages (with a little help from mommy of course!). The point is, children love to be read to! Plus, early reading helps children develop an understanding of language, vocabulary, and helps them understand tone of voice while you read. It is never too early to help a child develop a love for reading and learning!! November 23, 2013
    Rated 0 out of 5 I agree completely! We started reading to our 3 month old and people said that it was ridiculous. Well it was a great way to spend quiet time with her and now at 11 months she loves "reading" by herself and always reaches for her books! Sometimes she even gets mad when we try to read to her... little miss independent!! She especially loves the books that have different textures in them. May 23, 2013
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I think it is never too early to introduce books to your child. Our older daughter was in the NICU and the nurses suggested we read to her so she knew we were there. She loved it, she calmed down and it helped her sleep. By 4 months she loved to turn the pages of big board books, especially the ones which had touch and feel features. She never chewed on them, but then she never really chewed on anything. By 8 months her favorite activity was to read books. Now she is 2.5 and still loves to read, she asks us to read about 15 books a day.Our son is 4 months and he also loves to flip the pages of the board books, and he loves to chew them!Help your kids establish a life long love of books and stories. It is a great way to spend quality time with your little ones and it gives them an appreciation for literacy, one of the most valuable skills a person can have. November 28, 2011
    Rated 0 out of 5 by it sounds like the things we do with our older children in school first we just look at it, discuss what we think it is about , explore pictures etc. this gives the children an appreciation for books and reading. November 15, 2011
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