Reading is my favorite part of our bedtime routine. Not only is it fun, but educational. And it’s never too early to start. I have been reading to my girls since they were born. Heck, even before that! My husband use to read to my belly!
Reading is a fun way to spice up the bedtime routine, and it gives your baby something to look forward too. Also, if you are stuck and don’t have much of a routine, a couple books are all you need.
Here’s a simple and easy bedtime routine
And Voila! You’ve got yourself a fun and easy bedtime routine.
Not sure which books to read or which ones are age appropriate? I have come up with my list of top baby and toddler books based on age and development.
At this age your baby is fascinated by your voice and enjoys rhythmic sounds. Lullabies and nursery rhymes work best to calm a baby at this age. She may not understand the words, but she loves listening to you.
Your baby’s eyesight is not that great during the first few months. Your baby will only be able to focus and see objects clearly that are more than 8-10 inches away. Which just so happens to be the distance of your face.
Your baby will also only see black and white and some shades of grey. By 3 months of age, your baby should see her first color, red. Here are some great books to start at this age:
At this age your baby should be able to follow objects with her eyesight. Her color vision is also similar to that of an adult, so she can see all colors of the rainbow. Her hand eye coordination is developed, so she will start to grab the books and bring them to her mouth. Thick or vinyl books that withstand chewing will work best at this age. Many parents think that a baby is not interested in books because all baby wants to do is chew on them. The very opposite is true. Chewing on books, just like chewing on everything else is your baby’s way of showing interest and exploring her world through taste. Through the first year, your baby will explore through her senses. Chewing on everything including books during bedtime routine, is just one of her ways of exploring.
Cloth and vinyl books like the ones found here, are great for this age since your baby will be putting everything in her mouth.
By 6 months your baby should be less interested in chewing her books and will become more interested in looking at them and following along.
Around 8-9 months, your baby should be able to help turn the pages. It’s a great time to start some of the favorite classics like Goodnight Moon, and Brown Bear that will stick with your little one until she is much older.
By 12-18 months your child will love following along, pointing to objects, repeating some words. Singing songs, and lullabies is also fun at this age as your child starts to participate. Ask your baby “what’s that?” Or “where is the bunny?” You will start to see how engaged a baby this age can be in books. It’s quite fascinating.
This is a really fun age for books, and you can use it as a learning tool. You can practice ABC’s 123’s, Animals, Colors, and Sounds.
At this age your child may also exhibit some fears. Many children this age also start preschool, so there are some great books that help with the anxiety of school. At some point between 2-3yrs old you will be switching your baby from a crib to a toddler bed. Getting some new books to ease the fears and to get your child ready for this big change will help.
So there you go! My favorite bedtime books for babies and toddlers. What are some of your favorites? I would love to hear about some others, please comment below.