What To Read To Your Baby At Each Development Stage


Studies have shown that most children will be able to read between kindergarten and second grade if they are coached by individuals are are close to them such as a parent or teacher. However, they need to go through several stages before they become fully adept at reading and comprehending the written word.

It is important that you monitor your child’s progress through the various stages to ensure that he or she is on track. A pre-schooler is still at the pre-reading stage but should be able to repeat materials that are read to him repeatedly (particularly if the words rhyme).

Once he moves to kindergarten, he should be able to distinguish the different sounds that each letter makes. This ability is very important and must be mastered before your child can proceed to the next level.

However, the majority of children are not able to read properly before the age of five because the neural connections that enable them to decode printed letters and combine them to form words have not fully developed.

The best way to prep your child during the toddler years is through indirect instruction. You should show your child that books are important and fun, and the best technique of accomplishing this is by reading to him. Reading to babies helps in language development because it immerses them in the rhythms and sounds of speech. You also get their full attention while creating an unforgettable bonding experience.

The following is a step-by-step breakdown of what to read to your child at each stage.

Birth – 6 months

Introduce your child to books with large, high-contrast pictures and no text. Your baby’s eyesight is still developing and will be unable to distinguish letters.

Remember, though, even if you start your child on wordless picture books, it’s important to read out loud to them to immerse them in the rhythms and sounds of speech. Choose something that you will find enjoyable reading aloud to your baby, whether that’s the rhymes of Dr. Seuss or your favorite magazine – anything that gets you reading to your child.

Recommended books for this stage:

7 – 12 months

By this time, your baby can comprehend some of the simple everyday words used around him or her. Such words include “Mommy,” “Daddy,” “doggie” or “bottle.”

It is best to read to your baby from simple board books that contain one or two pieces of text illustrating a picture. When saying a word, you can point to the corresponding picture repeatedly so that your child associates the sound with the object.

Recommended books for this stage:

1 – 2 Years

At this point, you can make use of books with one or two simple sentences per page. Such books tend to be about animals, and you can make the corresponding animal noises while reading.

Recommended books for this stage:

Reading to your child is essential for helping them form the basis of the written word and develop into a lifelong book reader. If you read to them from the right books at the right time, you’ll likely raise a child who will always appreciate the value of reading.