Reading out loud to a newborn can be a great family bonding experience. Snuggled together on the couch or in a cozy armchair, the simple sound of mom or dad’s voice can be a calming sensation for an infant. Sisters, brothers, grandparents and other family members can get in on the action too, creating positive moments and memories to last a lifetime.
Building baby’s home library collection is a great way to ensure there are plenty of child-friendly books on hand when it’s reading time. And let’s be honest: just about any time is reading time!
While public libraries are a great source of endless tales, turning the dog-eared pages of your very own copy of Charlotte’s Web or I’ll Love You Forever holds a special thrill.
Here are ten tips for building baby’s first library:
- A friends and family baby book shower is a great way to help build baby’s first library. Guests can even include a handwritten note or bookplate as a special reminder of the gift giver.
- Start out by buying books centred around a certain theme (such as animals) or a favourite author (like Robert Munsch).
- Create a playgroup book club for children of a similar age as your own. Each week, have a mom share a book her child is enjoying, and consider adding it to your own collection.
- Libraries often have book sales, so watch for timeless classics like Where the Wild Things Are and Good Night Moon. (Be sure to wipe books clean before sharing with baby.)
- Visit yard sales in your neighbourhood for gently used copies of well-loved favourites by authors such as Beatrix Potter and Dr. Seuss. (Again, be sure to clean thoroughly.)
- Consider purchasing board books until your child is old enough to read books with paper pages (which can be easily torn by small, eager fingers).
- Choose interactive and engaging books for your baby, such black-and-white contrast books, books with flaps, and touch-and-feel stories.
- Include a few water-proof bath books in baby’s home collection as well. After all, what better place is there to read than in the tub?
- Be sure the books are within reach of your child at bedtime and nap time. Dedicate a night stand drawer or a bedroom bookshelf space to baby’s growing library.
- Place book bins in central areas of the home, like the kitchen and living room. Easy access to books will help reading become a go-to activity for your budding reader.
Kerry Ramsay is the owner of Little Red Canoe Book Co., a nature-themed book subscription service delivering one-of-a-kind book box adventures for kids aged newborn to 8 years. www.littleredcanoebooks.com