The best way to read a book to your baby

Dear Tunie,

This week is all about making your book-reading to your baby the best it can be.

Why read books to your baby? The research is very clear – It is extremely beneficial.  Here’s why:

Cognitive: Reading books to your baby develops their language and communication skills. It also develops their ability to think symbolically – a picture = word= thing in reality.

Emotional: Books show pictures of characters with expressions. When you read to your baby you help them make sense of these emotions.

Social: This is the most important one. Book reading is an activity you both do together. You are both focused together and are sharing in an experience. Even better when there is physical closeness as you read the book together.

But HOW you read a book to your baby will have a huge effect on whether your baby is getting the full benefits.

As usual, music plays a big part in your baby’s learning from books. So does your sense of playfulness, Zen, acting skills, and preschool teacher instincts.

Here are some ways to up your book-reading game.


How to read your baby books for the most coginitve, social and emotional development:


  1. Sing it
    Babies learn language through melody. Books are like a song. Notice how you probably sing song the books you’ve been reading over and over to your baby. That’s great! Accentuate the song, let your baby learn the song. Eventually they will be able to read the book to because they remember the song of it.
  2. Let go
    Does your little baby move forward, backward and skip pages? That’s ok! For your baby things are not linear, that’s something we teach them as they grow. For now, they’re simply enjoying the physicality of the book, the pictures and being with you. Eventually they will want to read from beginning to end. If they’re not there yet, let it go. Enjoy your baby’s refreshing perspective that ther is no end game. That’s our own thing.
  3. Take your time
    Let your baby point to things. What’s more important to your baby than finishing the book is interacting with you. They love the joint attention on something together. They want to show you what you see so you can join in their perspective.
  4. Be the characters
    As you start to get into character books, even something like Goodnight Moon, get into character! Use voices, make it interesting. Through your acting your baby will start to understand the idea that the pictures in the book represent beings with stories.
  5. Show Emotions
    As the characters start to have more complicated emotions, like sadness, anger, disappointment, be the actor you always dreamed about being! Your baby is learning a lot about emotions by watching you pretend.
  6. Leave blanks
    As your baby gets older start asking questions – What’s that? Or let them fill in the end of a sentence they know. Why might they know the last word? Because its like a song!


This week I’ll be demonstrating all this on my Instagram channel. Come join me!


Dear Tunester, what is your baby’s favorite book? COMMENT below so we can share them with each other.

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