Last week, I went to a neuroscience-meets-psychology seminar in London about infant-parent relationships. It was delightful to be reminded how even the smallest babies are ready and eager to engage with the adults in their world and to tune into what is being shared with them. In the wake of this experience, I was very happy earlier this week to read the news from the American Association of Pediatrics that it will now be a requirement for health professionals to give guidance to young parents of the value of reading to their new babies.

A book is a baby’s first theatre. Among the many benefits of reading with your baby is the way this kind of sharing gives the baby space, intimacy and a shared, multisensory experience all at once. Babies may well want to treat the books in their own way – chewing and bashing them a bit is all part of the fun and is not to be discouraged. But the sound of a carer’s voice, the security of being held, the colours and contrasts in the art, all combine to lay strong foundations. This is not just about literacy, it’s about bonding, and it’s about emotional, psychological and spiritual wellbeing – for both parties.

Many of our board books are great for sharing with babies, but here are my current favourites:

‘Big and Small’ (US/UK)
‘Fast and Slow’ (US/UK)
The Bear books (US/UK)
The Cleo books (US/UK)
The Clare Beaton rhyme books (US/UK)

Also, read a commentary from ‘The Guardian’, where ‘Bear on a Bike’ is warmly recommended – hurrah!

Happy sharing!


Tags: , , , , ,

Join the conversation! Add your comments below.