Best Books for Baby

by Rachel Baker on May 5, 2014

Below is a wonderful discussion on how to choose the best books for your baby. I’m not talking about the best ones for you to read to your baby, but the best ones that your baby can “read” and interact with herself or himself.

In Dorothy Butler’s Babies need Books she writes, “Ideally, a small pile of good books awaits the new baby’s arrival… In my family we have a habit of sending a book for the “displaced” baby. “Mr Gumpy’s Outing for Jane and Timothy when he is old enough, is of much more use in a delicate family situation than a pair of bootees!”

It is such good advice that, even though you are past that stage (and may not have an older child), it is a nugget of wisdom that underpins an approach to books and babies based on the idea of bringing the two together just as soon as possible.

Butler’s premise is that by sharing books with babies from the earliest moment you are teaching them a lot about the looking and listening that underpins the later acquired skill of reading.

It sounds as if you have done this introductory work and are now reading for you baby to build on it and go it alone.

There are two strands to your choice: one is format and the other is content. Board books are the obvious answer to the first. Babies cannot reliably handle a paper page. Nor can they be relied on to only “handle” a book. Biting and licking books are also popular in the very early days. As is simply drooling on them. So, sturdily produced board books are invaluable at this stage.

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