There are many different types of books that you could choose for your baby and they all have their benefits. Many baby books are written as a series, so here’s a quick guide to some of the best.
Babies learn with all their senses and will want to touch (and chew!) books as well as look at them. For very young babies cloth books are ideal, they are safe if baby hits itself over the head with them and can incorporate lots of different textures. Some of the best are the Usborne Cloth book series which have simple stories and interesting textures. For older babies board books with bits to touch are great. Also by Usborne, The “That’s not my…” series offers the opportunity to feel the texture and hear the word that describes it.
If you have trouble fitting books in to your day then you could try books that attach to the pushchair, these can be a great distraction while waiting at Doctors surgeries or in queues and come as both board books and cloth books. You can also buy waterproof books to take in the bath, including the “Squirty Bath Books” series which can be used as a hand puppet that squirts water.
As babies get older books can help them develop their fine motor skills, lift the flap books are great for this as well as offering a game of peak a boo. One of the best is still the classic “Where’s Spot” by Eric Hill, as well as the many other Spot lift the flap books. These also have the benefit of introducing a familiar character which babies can find reassuring. Another type of book that can help with motor skill development are the “Clackety-Clack” series, these books are shaped like animals and when baby shakes them they make the clacking sound.
Reading any book can help with parent child bonding but a series that’s particularly good for bonding is the”Baby Gym” series. These books contains rhymes and activities to do with baby, “Calm and Soothe” is particularly nice before naps or bedtimes.
And finally, one of the most important types of books to have is a good collection of nursery rhymes because most people have forgotten the words by the time they have children. You’ll spend hours singing them to entertain your baby and as they become toddlers and children these familiar rhymes will still comfort them. “The Usborne Nursery Rhyme Treasury” by Susanna Davidson has a good selection of songs and rhymes and lovely illustrations.
Many of these books will be available from your local library and if there is something you want that they don’t have then they can usually get it for you, this means you can try different books for free, to see if your baby likes them.
Josie Cornhill is a chartered librarian and runs Tots Tales – The Baby and Toddler Book Club, visit www.totstales.co.uk to find out more.