Reading to a baby

Babies don’t know what books are, they usually think a book is something to chew. With your help and encouragement, they’ll soon love books. No matter how old your baby is, you can read to them. They'll love hearing how your voice changes as you read.

Introducing books to a baby

After feeding and before they start to nap, take time with your child to cuddle them close and share a story. They don't what you’re saying but they’ll love hearing the way your voice changes as you read – higher, lower, softer, quieter, happier and brighter. They'll want to discover what this new colourful thing in front of them is.

Join a library

When you join the library, you can borrow books for your baby and you. 

To find online tools, tips and fun activities to help develop your child's
communication and language skills, go to:

Books for birthdays and Christmas

A book is a great idea for a baby's birthday or Christmas present. It doesn’t cost much, can be personalised with a message and can be kept forever. If you go to the library often, you'll know the types of book your child likes.

When friends and family ask for suggestions, you can tell them the books your child likes – for example books about animals, fairytales or adventures.

Swapping books

Borrowing and lending books is a great way to find new stories you’ll both enjoy. Swap books with friends (their book might be your next favourite) or look in local charity shops. You might find a story your child loves and you’ll be helping a good cause too.

Board books

Your child is still learning and is too small to know they shouldn't chew or drop books.

Board books are strong and made with toddlers in mind. So your child can have as much fun with it as they like – and you’ll still have a storybook to share with them.

More useful links

Information based on similar messages from Play Talk Read Scotland.

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