Week 43: Do this one thing everyday

Week 43: Do this one thing everyday

You are probably already aware that hearing speech is an essential ingredient your baby needs to develop his language skills. And when it’s combined with the act of shared reading, it will increase your baby's vocabulary, pre-reading skills and conceptual development. Not to mention all the extra cuddle time they get with you!

But how do you choose the best books for your baby? Here's our general ages & stages guidelines:

0 - 6 months

You can read to your newborn as soon as you feel comfortable with your daily rhythm. Making reading part of your routine can also help your baby anticipate their daily activities. Your baby won't understand much, but hearing your voice and being in your presence is good enough for them.

As your baby gets closer to their half-birthday, you might notice that they show more interest in books, and their attention span will be a little longer. Allow your baby to grab and hold the book and, if it's safe, mouth and chew the book.

Which books to choose:

  • Vinyl or cloth books that can't tear and can get wet.
  • Books with no words (you can make up your own story) are as good as books with familiar, repetitive, or rhyming text at this stage.
  • Books that contain pictures and pages with bright colours.
  • Books with interactive elements (sensory books) are great to give your baby a multi-sensory experience.
Tips for parents:

✔️ Make your voice higher and lower where appropriate, or use different voices for different characters. Read with a lot of expressions!

6 - 9 months
Once your baby can sit comfortably between your legs or supported against a pillow, you can encourage them to become active participants in storytime.

Let them touch, look at and mouth the book if they want. This is entirely normal and a good thing that your baby is interested in exploring books! As your baby gets closer to 9 months, he will start showing a preference for certain books as he knows the pictures and stories.

Which books to choose:

  • Board books with short, simple stories with colourful pictures are perfect.
  • Choose books that can go with you to the park, restaurant or the doctor's office. Teach your baby that reading is not just for bedtime.
  • Books with characters that you can name are more memorable for babies.
  • Sensory books are still a favourite since babies can now reach, stroke and explore the pages themselves.

Tips for parents:

✔️ You don't have to follow the story exactly. Skip a page or make up your own story to keep it interesting.

✔️ Take breaks to talk to your baby and ask him questions ("What is the puppy doing? The puppy is playing!")

✔️ Incorporate animal sounds or different voices when reading to your baby.

✔️ Wrapping rubber bands around the pages of board books will help the pages stand up, which will encourage your baby to turn the pages independently.

9 - 18 months
Nearing your baby's birthday, your baby will be more familiar with books and will turn the pages (with your help), pat the pages or even point to different objects on the page. You might even find that your baby is repeating sounds or attempting to "read aloud" with you. If reading has been a part of your daily routine you can expect your baby to be an eager participant.

Which books to choose:

  • Choose books with familiar objects and short stories. 
  • Board books are still a great option, but you can introduce books with actual pages from 12 months.
  • Smaller books that can fit in your baby's lap are excellent to promote independence.

Tips for parents:

✔️ Encourage your baby to point and gesture starting at about 12 months. Ask simple questions like "Where is the moon?" and "What did he eat?" and see if your baby responds.

✔️ Keep the books on the toy shelf - books are to be enjoyed as much as any other toy.

✔️ Once your baby is walking, invite them to go to the bookshelf and choose a book for reading.

✔️ Your baby might request the same story over and over. Repetition is excellent - babies love it and learn best from it, so don't worry about it getting boring for them. Your baby will soon be copying you!

Start the development journey with MonkiBox. Montessori-inspired toys designed to give your child the best start.

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