5 Quick Tips for Reading Aloud to Your Baby

by Janssen Bradshaw

Photo credit: Carmen MartA-nez BanAs/Getty Images

When your baby is really small, it can seem like they have no idea what’s going on when you read aloud to them. They may grab at the pages, try to wiggle away, or show very little interest in what’s happening.

Here are some tips that helped me interact with my baby and her books, even at a very early age.

1. Lie down on the floor together. When my baby was really little, it was hard to read to her while she was sitting on my lap since she was so unstable. Instead, I’d lie down on the floor next to her and hold the book above us. Then she couldn’t grab it and could focus on the pictures. Of course, I could only read a few books before my arms were all wobbly and exhausted.

2. Do voices. I know. You feel like an idiot. But when that baby starts to giggle, it’s all worth it. Plus, if you can’t do funny voices in the privacy of your own home, where can you do them?

3. Find audio copies of your favorite picture books. Not only does this give your baby a chance to hear other voices reading familiar stories, you can also concentrate on pointing things out in the pictures as you listen together.

4. Sometimes, skip the words and just focus on the pictures instead. Ask your baby to point out certain objects. If they are too little, gently hold their finger and point together. Or you can narrate the book in your own words, following along with the pictures.

5. If the book is a rhyming one, sing it! I am no great singer (by any stretch of the imagination), but it’s sometimes helpful to make up something kind of tuneless and sing the words as a nice alternative to straight reading.


What’s made storytime with your baby a bit easier?