Monday, February 17, 2014

The Best Books for 0-3 Months

Yes, you read that right!  We're about to talk about reading to newborns.  Crazy, right?  When are you supposed to read in between all the feeding, the diapers, more feeding, and more diapers?  And of course, parents are generally completely exhausted throughout this time.

Somehow though, in our house, we managed to read to B beginning the weekend we brought him home from the hospital.  It was a great way to bond, especially for my husband.  I nursed and thus took care of much of the feeding, which left my husband delegated to diapers (NOT FUN) and reading (FUN).  Reading to our newborn provided him with visual stimulation and lots of language.  Once we all got settled into a bit of a routine (around 6 weeks or so), reading was a great "play" activity for our increasingly wakeful infant.  Most of all, reading with a newborn got us all started into the good habit of reading often.

I remember that one of the early challenges of reading was positioning, since B could not hold his head up yet.  We often read to him while he sat in his bouncy chair.  We worried a little less about the format of books, since B was not yet touching books or turning pages -- paperbacks and hardcovers worked out just as well as board books.  I learned that when you are recently post-partum, it is best to avoid overly emotional books (such as Robert Munsch's Love You Forever).  We had some major waterworks one night!

Black and white books are great for this age, as young infants can see black, white, and red best!  It is not worth it to buy too many of these though, as this phase passes quickly and you'll prefer in the long run to own books with richer content.  Wordless books with very simple pictures are also favorites, as you can simply label the pictures with your baby.  Without further adieu, here are our top books for newborns:

1. Mommies and Their Babies, by Guido Van Genetchen.  A sweet black and white book with slightly more content than some of the other ones out there...a lovely read for new moms!

2.  Daddies and Their Babies, by Guido Van Genetchen  Similar to the above, but dads get a turn in this one!

3. Freight Train, by Donald Crews  Simple text and bright pictures with plenty of contrast make this book appealing to newborns, but unlike other books intended for the youngest readers, you will still be reading this one throughout the toddler years.

4. Kid O Forest Friends Wooden Book  With simple pictures, this wordless book was the first book my husband read to B.  It was an early favorite, as they enjoyed looking at each animal together.

5. Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown  It is never too early to get started with this classic!

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