A few months ago, a friend asked me for book recommendations to start her baby’s library. I had already started putting together an infant and toddler booklist so I was able to answer her request right away.
I imagine my friend reached out to me because, well, I’ve kind of been there, done that.
Having four kids means that we have read a lot of books. We’ve had the privilege of reading many great books as well as some not-so-great books. I had a small but high quality collection by the time Little Miss came along.
I know from Charlotte Mason that the books we read to our children are shaping their minds and building their character and taste. Just like I would never let my kids live off of junk food, it is important that their “main course” of reading is high quality.
Yes, even at this tender age, we are “seasoning their palette” to the types of books we want them to enjoy.
This is not to say Little Miss never grabs a book staring her favorite TV characters. On library day, it’s open game but these books go into a “twaddle” basket for fun reading at her leisure.
I intentionally read books from this list at story time and bedtime.
This list has two categories: Core Classics that we cannot do without and Great Reads that compliment the “main course” well.
I’ve included the ones everyone will recognize (think Goodnight Moon) as well as newer titles we have fallen in love with (are you reading the Classics to your baby?).
I’m not sure I have to do a big plug here to encourage you to read to your infant and toddler but just in case…
Next to holding, feeding, changing, clothing and providing a home for your baby, reading is the most important thing you can do in these early years.
Yes, even when they are too young to pay attention.
Yes, even when they are too busy to pay attention.
They are learning building blocks of language as well as positive messages about reading even when you don’t think any magic is happening. I promise.
You are also practicing yourself! Start the habit of reading aloud as soon as your baby is born and it will be as normal a part of your day as breakfast and bedtime.
And your baby will grow up to be a child who cannot remember a time in his life when he wasn’t read to.
How beautiful is that?
Print your own copy of my must-read infant & toddler booklist here: infant-toddler
P.S. Don’t you love that picture of Little Miss and her GREAT-grandfather reading to her? We are blessed to have a wide generational range in our family and there is something so precious about watching the grandparents pour into the babies. Grandpa, congrats on your modeling debut ;).