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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 51reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I totally agree and appreciate this article. I am an avid reader myself and I read to both my children from birth. I believe the more you share books with your children then the more they will love to read as well. November 28, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I know it's important to talk to my baby often and I found that I don't talk a lot around the house so I've taken advantage of reading to my baby from reading out loud my Bible, books I'm reading and his books I received from his baby shower. September 29, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I read to my baby as a bed time ritual. He is only 6 weeks old! It sooths him to sleep and I hope it will form an early interest in ready and vocabulary! September 22, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I read to baby #1 all the time. I started with reading things I was interested in - newspaper, magazines, etc. As infants, its just good for them to hear your voice. I would read children's books that I enjoyed. He eventually started selecting his own books to read. At two, he knows his alphabet, shapes, colors, and can count past 20. With baby #2, I read to both kids at the same time. Books with bold colors are stimulating to the infant. Of course the best help about reading and the type of books to read for child can be found at your public library. Oh, and books are great economical gifts for any child in your life. March 10, 2014
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