You already know that reading to your children is important for their development, but when you have a tiny newborn or a baby that's only a few months old, it feels like teaching them to sleep and memorizing their feeding schedule is more important. I totally understand, but there are some books every parent should read their baby before they turn one.
I know, you're thinking that your baby has no idea what's going on and spends most of their time focusing on pooping, so why are there specific books to read to them? According to PBS, babies from birth to six months old are soothed by the rhythmic reading of stories or lullabies. And babies from six months old to a year start to become more interested in the actual story, pictures, and being introduced to objects. Parents also notes that babies younger than six months appreciate high-contrast picture books with little to no text. At that age, it's more about bonding with you and listening to you read. But once babies hit six months, they begin to recognize illustrations as objects and reading helps reinforce their vocabulary. They also enjoy books with one major character or object to focus on.
And reading to your baby before they're 1 means you get the opportunity to share some of your favorites before they're interested in reading nothing but Elmo and Mickey Mouse stories. So pull out that rocking chair and make sure you're sharing these 17 books with your babe before they turn one.
1. 'Goodnight Moon' by Margaret Wise Brown
Goodnight Moon is the ultimate children's classic, but it's perfect for even the tiniest of newborns. The words are sweet, the sentences are short, and babies will love looking at the gorgeous illustrations. I used to read this to my newborn every night and it's still one of her favorites.
2. 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle
3. 'The Going To Bed Book' by Sandra Boynton
4. 'First 100 Words' by Roger Priddy
There's no plot, but First 100 Words is a great picture book for babies. Introduce them to typical objects around the house, words perfect for their future vocabulary, and lots of animals. My daughter still loves flipping this open to point at things and ask what they are, or tell us that everything is a dog.
5. 'The Wonderful Things You Will Be' by Emily Winfield Martin
6. 'Pat The Bunny' by Dorothy Kunhardt
7. 'Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA' by Jimmy Fallon
8. 'Go The F**k To Sleep' by Adam Mansbach
9. 'Where The Wild Things Are' by Maurice Sendak
10. 'Whistle For Willie' by Ezra Jack Keats
11. 'Madeline' by Ludwig Bemelmans
12. 'On The Night You Were Born' by Nancy Tillman
Not that you'll ever forget the night of your baby's birth, but those emotions are still very fresh in the first year which is why On the Night You Were Born is so lovely. Try not to cry all over your baby's head as you read about the entire world celebrating for your little one's birth.