My niece has turned 4 months old and my sister wants to instill reading habits in her. She asked me what books are appropriate for an infant.
Reading aloud to babies are very important, especially during infancy, not only because it can help instil reading habits, but also because at this stage, infants are very receptive to language and visuals. This is the time when neurons make connections, a brain process called “synaptogenesis”, very rapidly, till the first year of life. Another process called the myelination continues and the neurons controlling hearing and vision become myelinated.
Repetitions are very important at this stage. I suggested her to get board books that have big, colorful images and have repeated words. Those which have textures for them to touch will be great too. These are some of my recommendations:
How to read aloud to an infant:
1) Place them on your lap (not on the bed while you read aloud to them. They need to be able to see the images and colors, and be able to interact with the book and you)
2) Read using different voices (maintaining an infant-directed tone); make it as interactive and interesting as possible
3) Allow them to turn the pages, touch and feel
4) Encourage them to ‘point’. Keep repeating your instructions and guide their little fingers. Repetitions will help register meaning to their brains.
Have fun reading to her sis! 🙂