A.Belle's Best Board Books for Babies
We started early
Addie Belle is a book nerd and loves to read. It's one of the things we do together at least twice a day, and it started when she was in the NICU. Born at 26 weeks, she spent 114 days in intensive care and there were very few ways to connect. One of the ways we connected (especially John) was to read to her for hours a day. Each night when he'd get done work, I'd do kangaroo care while he read to us. Her oxygen levels and heart rate were always the best during that time. Reading and kangaroo care is some pretty powerful stuff!!
In fact, a recent study in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics found that reading to babies in the NICU can help parents develop the same feelings of intimacy that parents of healthy newborns cultivate in the days and weeks after a baby's birth.
Even if your baby isn't a preemie, reading to your baby is one-on-one bonding time. It's a way to connect and expose your baby to your voice. Once they begin to recognize your voice, it can be soothing to them. I think it's even more important for dads to read to their babies if their wife or partner is breastfeeding. They don't get the benefit of the same natural bonding time that mother's do.
develop the brain
Each time you're reading with your child, you're helping their brain to develop. You're exposing them to vocabulary, words, rhythm, language and emotion in a situation that's comforting and safe for them.
Children need to hear words often, which is why many of the books I recommended include books with predictable, repetitive text. They learn words better when they are interested, so its important to keep that in mind. They also learn best when adults are responsive to them, which is ideal during reading time. To learn more about how reading promotes language, check out how you can Promote Language with Books from the Hanen Centre.
Headstart at Life
Children who are read to regularly starting at young age are more likely to be stronger readers, have better success at school, and have increased cognitive abilities, regardless of income of family background.
ANd Now for the list!
As a prior special education kindergarten teacher and director at an early intervention center, I know how important reading is, starting from day one! We've continued this tradition of reading and we came up with a list of our favorite board books.