Babies & Books - from the beginning

Babies & Books

from the beginning


Why Read to Your Baby?

Newborn (birth to 6 months)

Older Baby (6 to 15 months)

Young Toddler (15 months to 2 years)

Older Toddler (2 to 3 years)

The Library: A Special Place for Baby and You

Suggested Books



Why Read to Your Baby?

  • Reading to your baby creates a special bonding time for you and your child.
  • It helps your baby learn new words.
  • It helps your baby become a good listener.
  • It prepares your baby for learning to read and for future success in school.
  • It introduces your baby to many experiences through stories, songs and rhymes.
  • It is a calming activity that makes parenting easier.
  • And most of all…it is fun for both of you.

This Little Pig

This little pig went to market,
(Hold and wiggle baby's big toe.)

This little pig stayed home,
(Hold and wiggle the next toe.)

This little pig had roast beef,
(Move to the next toe.)

This little pig had none,
(Wiggle the fourth toe.)

And this little pig cried,
(Walk fingers up leg and tickle.)

All the way home.

Find this rhyme and others in The Little Dog Laughed and Other Nursery Rhymes, illustrated by Lucy Cousins.

How to Share Books with Your Baby

  • Have a regular time for reading each day, such as naptime, after meals or bedtime.
  • Pick a book that you and your child will like.
  • Find a comfortable and cozy place to sit.
  • Choose a quiet place away from TV, radio and other distractions.
  • Hold the book so your baby can see the pictures and words clearly.
  • Use your voice to make the words come alive.
  • Have your baby take part in the reading by pointing out objects, talking about the pictures or saying common words.
  • Reread your baby's favorite books whenever asked.
  • Pack a book to read during waiting times - on trips, at the doctor's or in line at the store.
  • Borrow books from your library so there are plenty of books in your home.
  • Keep reading times short and fun. Stop if your baby becomes fussy or restless.


Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake,
(Clap hands with rhythm)

Baker's man,
Bake me a cake
As fast as you can.

Pat it and poke it,
(Roll and clap hands.)

And mark it with B,
(Trace "B" on palm.)

And put it in the oven
(Throw both hands up.)

For baby and me!
(Point to baby and self.)
Find this in the board book Pat-A-Cake by Tony Kenyon.