Tips for Reading Aloud With Babies

Read aloud so babies can:

orange bulletAssociate reading with warm, pleasant feeling

orange bulletHear sounds, rhythms, and words

orange bulletUse their senses: listening, seeing, and touching

orange bulletMake their own sounds: cooing, gurgling, babling

orange bulletBegin to understand that pictures represent objects

orange bulletPoint to pictures


Choose books babies enjoy, including:

For younger babies

orange bulletBoard books with simple, bright pictures against solid backgrounds

orange bulletLight, washable cloth and vinyl books they can easily grasp

orange bulletNursery rhyme books and other stories with set rhymes

For older babies

orange bulletBrightly colored board books featuring only one or two objects per page

orange bulletBooks with bright pictures of animals, babies, and familiar objects

orange bulletBooks with textures, things to touch, flaps to lift, or holes to poke


While reading aloud:

orange bulletHold your baby in your lap; make sure she can see the pictures

orange bulletExpect your baby to touch, grasp, and taste—that is how she learns

orange bulletOffer your baby a toy to hold and chew while listening to you read

orange bulletLet your baby turn pages if she is more interested in the book than listening

orange bulletPoint to, name, and talk about things in the illustrations

orange bulletPlay with words, sing, and make up rhymes

orange bulletRead one or two pages at a time; gradually lengthen the number of pages

orange bulletEncourage a baby to join in, to moo like a cow or finish a repetitive phrase

orange bulletStay on a page as long as your baby is interested

orange bulletPut the book away and do something else when she loses interest


Advice for New Parents

Got Tips?

Do you have a reading tip you'd like to share?  Send an email with your name, city/state, child's age, and tip to
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