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Baby & Toddler

Your Baby’s First Year:
What to Read to Them at Every Stage

by Janssen Bradshaw

Photo credits: Jaunty Junto, Digital Vision/Getty Images; Elyse Lewin, Photographer's Choice/Getty Images; Ippei Naoi, Moment Open/Getty Images; David A Land, Blend Images/Getty Images

The difference between a newborn baby and a 1-year-old is so amazing! In that one year, they grow and change so much.

Here are some of the things your baby may be doing and learning over that first year and some books and reading techniques that may work well for them during each of their various stages.

  • 6–9 Months

  • Your baby is probably pretty wiggly now, starting to crawl and maybe even cruise along the furniture, which means it can be more challenging to get them to sit still for a book. Don’t push it — you don’t want them to associate reading with unhappiness — but try a few times a day. They’re starting to learn names and also object permanence (meaning that something is still there, even if they can’t see it) and they’re really interested in seeing themselves in the mirror.

  • Peek-a-Zoo!

    by Nina Laden

    This cute (and short!) book ends with a little mirror where a baby can see himself. And it’s brief enough that even if your baby is super wiggly, you can probably squeeze in a reading of it.

  • Animal Spots and Stripes

    by Britta Teckentrup

    This book has gorgeous illustrations and the pages are a cross between standard and board book papers, so your baby can touch and turn as much as she wants. And seeing the animals behind the flaps is great practice for understanding object permanence.