Talk to your baby while you read.

It‘s never too soon to read to your baby. The moments you share together can make a reader for life.

  • Start now! A baby‘s brain grows fast. The first three years make a big difference.
  • Share a book with your baby every day. Even a few minutes makes a difference.
  • Talk with your baby while you read, and show your baby that reading is fun!

Newborns love to hear your voice.

  • To newborns (birth to six months), your voice is the best book of all. By listening to you, they‘ll learn how language works.
  • When you read, point to pictures, ask questions, and talk about what they‘re seeing.
  • When they babble to you, listen, smile, and talk.
  • Cuddle up and sing your favorite children‘s songs, like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
  • Use every moment you have. At bath time, bedtime, bounce time, say nursery rhymes, sing lullabies, play pat-a-cake, count toes — and let your baby listen.

Show your baby that reading is fun.

  • Between the ages of six months and one year, the hard, chewable cover of a board book is perfect for small hands and a baby‘s attention.
  • The most important thing is that your baby sees you enjoy reading. Have fun with it and your baby will, too!
  • Make faces and sounds to bring the story to life.
  • Cuddle, praise, and encourage your baby.
  • Read when your baby is rested and you‘re both in a good mood. If your child gets restless, it‘s okay to stop for now.

Read the same books over and over again.

  • One- to two-year-olds love to hear the same words again and again.
  • Catch their interest with Goodnight Moon, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? or other stories where your child can guess what happens next, repeat words, or chant along.

These tips and more are in our Read Me a Future booklet, part of our free baby book giveaway program.

Reading to Toddlers

Also see our tips for reading to toddlers.