The importance of developing literacy early on for your baby and the perfect books to start growing your little one’s library
As your baby grows from infant to toddler and toddler to child, language and literacy develop together and are crucial to your child’s growth and understanding of the world around them. The first three years of your little one’s life sees rapid growth in the brain, so language development is most critical during this time.
Building language and fostering a love of literacy within your home will not only benefit your child’s learning capabilities but will nurture a love of learning and books as they enter school. Early literacy will also aid them in being kindergarten-ready and allow them to enter school wide-open eyes and engaged minds.
Unfortunately, at this stage, in literacy and language development have been skirted, your child could end up struggling to read, which will inevitably cause them to struggle with learning.
How can you promote literacy at a young age?
Believe it or not, reading and speaking to your baby is one of the best things you can do for him or her. At such a young age, they are sponges eager to learn, listen, and soak in everything you are telling them (even if they can’t let you know they are learning). How do you help your children at a young age? Try some of these tips as your infant grows:
- Talk to your little one so they hear words with expression and emotion
- Make fun animal noises that your baby can mimic
As they get older, point and name objects with your child around. Talk about what you are doing during the day to them. Help them explore their newfound world by showing and naming all the things in it—trust us, they are taking it all in.
It’s never too early to start reading to your baby.
Board books are specifically created so babies can get their hands around them and they help baby touch, feel, and explore through reading. As your baby grows into a toddler and they are more on the go, you can read stories to them while they play.
Teach your child how to sit on your lap and cuddle and read. This promotes literacy and emotional bonding with their parents.
Make reading part of your daily routine.
Reading as part of your bedtime routine can foster a good lifelong habit. Incorporate it early on in your infant and toddler’s bedtime routine and as they learn to read on their own, encourage it into school-aged years. Reading before bed relaxes and helps you drift off to sleep versus the blue light of a device causing your eyes to get over-stimulated.
As your child gets older, continue reading with them and to them. It can help your child to hear new vocabulary and the intonations of a person reading.
Time to start your own little library!
We’ve compiled some of the best children’s books for you to begin your child’s literacy journey! These are a compilation of both classic and modern favorites that will foster a love of learning, adventure, and storytelling for your baby.
Pro tip: Consider asking for your child’s little library books in lieu of cards at your baby shower! Make a wish list on Amazon and don’t forget to include these favorite storybooks on yours.
A classic, must-have addition to your little library! This book has been beloved by generations and makes the perfect bedtime story. As your infant grows into a toddler, this is also a first easy memorization book and you’ll enjoy countless nights of your child reading back to you. Kids and adults of all ages love the calmness and kindness of Goodnight Moon.
Where the Wild Things Are
A book full of mischief and imagination and the world created by a child, this book is a must-have for your little one. A classic tale of a stubborn little boy and his journey through an imaginative landscape that takes him back home where he belongs. You’ll enjoy this one over and over.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Laura Numeroff is a favorite modern children’s book author who has brought to life Mouse and all his fun friends. In these tales, children learn about the chain of events and thought processes through circular tales that are a whole lot of silly.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
This adorable children’s book will help engage your little one in learning their letters like A, B, and C climb up the coconut tree. This classic children’s tale helps teach your baby while offering vibrant illustrations.
Guess How Much I Love You
We haven’t been to a baby shower that doesn’t receive at least one copy of this classic tale. In this book, Little Nutbrown Hair tries to measure his love for his father and learns that there is no measure of love a parent has for their child. This book about unconditional love is one you need to add into your bedtime routine from day 1.
Additional books you don’t want to miss out on!
There are just so many books that little ones love from infancy through school-aged that are important in teaching lessons, creating engaging education, and growing your child’s vision of the world. We’ve shared some of the top children’s books above, but we have compiled a longer list of classic favorites that every little library should include.
- Love You Forever
- Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (and any other Dr. Seuss favorites!)
- The Runaway Bunny
- The Giving Tree
- Good night, Gorilla
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
- A Bear Called Paddington
- The Rainbow Fish
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Board Books that Your Infant will Love
Interactive books are the best start for your infant. These titles are designed to engage your baby in experiencing different sights, sounds, and textures to better understand the world around them.
- Baby Signs
- 100 First Words
- Seuss’s ABCs
- Where’s Spot?
- A Color of His Own
Creating the Perfect Little Library
There are literally thousands of amazing kid’s books available on the market today, so choosing the best ones for your baby can be challenging. Our list is simply a starting point so you have some ideas and can begin to think of other childhood classics you may want to add to your own list.
Creating the perfect library comes down to a matter of taste: what do you want to enjoy with your baby? Find the books that matter and ones that you want to make memories with and pass down. Find books that you’ll be sure to love rereading because your baby will want to read them repeatedly.
As your baby grows and develops their own personality, build onto the library by choosing books that suit them. What are their favorite animals? Their favorite activities? What do they need to learn about the world? What lessons can be taught?
Many children’s books are designed to teach lessons, such as manners, sharing, love, and more. Choose books that create a well-rounded human being and use their words and illustrations to create a kind, caring and intelligent child.
Most importantly, have fun creating your perfect little library! As your baby grows and learns and becomes a child, they can help you grow into their library and it can be a lifelong adventure for both you and your child. Your selections help in molding the person they will become, so choose the books that really speak to you.
We would love to hear what your favorite childhood book was! Let us know—send us a message!