Sep 28 2023

How to choose a great Birth-6 Month book

How to choose a great Birth-6 Month book
Science has told us for many years that learning begins from birth — so let’s choose books that support shared book reading right from the start.  As you can imagine, infants rarely have strong book preferences, so for this age group, it’s about offering choices for parents and caregivers that they’ll enjoy reading aloud, create opportunities for loving interactions, and strengthen that all-important relationship for years to come.

Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, Medical Director, Reach Out and Read Wisconsin; Vice-Chair, Reach Out and Read Board of Directors; Associate Professor of Pediatrics and of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Infants grow and develop rapidly in the first six months of life.  From establishing a daily routine to rolling over, babies learn so many new things!  A crucial aspect of this time is developing the bond with their caregivers and a great way to do this is through reading books together.  In the wise words of Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, infants do not have strong book preferences, so any book will do!  Sturdy board books, books with high contrast illustrations, books with tactile elements, books with baby faces, and even storybooks.  Using reading to build the caregiver-baby relationship will start to develop those early literacy skills through talking, singing, reading, and playing together. Reading together builds the caregiver-baby relationship and starts to develop those early literacy skills through talking, singing, and playing.  

Around the four-month mark, an infant can see high contrast images and begin to discern faces. That makes books featuring these things great options for reading together and during tummy time!  You can prop a book open on the floor for something fun to look at while babies spend time on their tummies and strengthen their back and neck muscles. 

Faces books!  Why baby faces?  Babies love babies!  They are drawn to images of other babies, their facial expressions, what they are doing, and sharing interactions.   

High-Contrast!  Since a baby’s sense of sight is not fully developed at birth, high- contrast books work to the advantage of their limited eyesight.  The high-contrast and brightly colored images capture attention and allow babies to engage with books and start identifying objects.   

Tactile books!  Why are tactile books important?  As babies learn about their environment, they notice different textures, helping to develop motor skills.  Books with tactile elements offer babies an interactive experience that can help foster a love of reading and discovery. 

Storybooks!  Reading a book before bedtime or nap time is a great way to get ready for sleep.  Storybooks are another great option for reading with your infant.  Favorites in the Pelkey house are On the Night You Were Born and Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site. 

Reading any type of book with your infant is the best way to build the caregiver-baby relationship.  Pick something that you will enjoy reading and have fun together! 

Sarah Pelkey
Hey there, I’m Sarah Pelkey

Sarah joined the All About Books Sales and Marketing team in 2014 and now manages the whole team. While the Sales Account Managers take care of most individual customers, Sarah supports their work in addition to developing and fostering relationships with coalitions all over the country.