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My love affair with books began barely when I could hold a spoon upright and direct the piece of cutlery into my mouth. I faintly remember at the age of 3 waking up at the middle of the night and murmuring into my mum’s much annoyed ears if I could read my “ABC book”?

Books indeed are a treasure trove, they lead on to a path less travelled, opening up doors to a vivid imagination and conjure up a world where fairies, elves, superheroes, animals and even vegetables teach valued life lessons!

Advantage of books for babies:

Inculcating the habit to read is perhaps one of the better virtues you can pass on to your baby. Reading is actually quite a simple activity. All that you need is a warm cozy corner, a cuddle and snuggle with baby, few animated expressions and voices and most prominently worthy books.

When you first begin to read out to baby she may not really understand your words or follow the contents/pictures. But research proves that babies who are read aloud to each day have a far greater chance of developing their language and cognitive skills over the ones’ who haven’t been introduced to books early on.

When you first begin to read out to babies pick books that contain clear illustrations, bold colors, sing- song text with repetitive words, different textures like cloth/ vinyl/ hard bound and relatable characters. Make sure to go over books that baby loves time and again and try and set aside time each day devoted exclusively to reading aloud to baby. It is unimportant to finish the book but what really matters is the effort at reading!

Baby’s first books:

Baby’s first book must pass the following tests:

- Should be sturdy to withstand wear and tear

- Must have rounded edges and soft sheets to protect baby fingers

- Must be vibrant, colorful and neatly illustrated

- Must have repetitive words and rhyming text to appeal to little ears and minds

- Should be easy to clean after spills

- Must be easy to lift and fit into those snuggly little palms.

Books for babies under 6 months:

By the time an infant turns 4-6 months old they begin to show interest in books that are being read to them regularly. Here’s a list of some interesting books that may catch the fancy of both parents and baby:

- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown: Every parent wants baby to sleep snug and cozy and what better way than reading a bed time story. In the book, little bunny gets ready to sleep and wishes good night to all familiar stuff in his room.

- Your baby’s first word will be DADA by Jimmy Fallon: Every parent is curious about their child’s first word. Here the author’s determined to hear ‘DADA’ as his child’s first word and works very hard on it too!

- Hello Bugs by Smriti Prasadam and Emily Bolam: This is a well- illustrated book with contrasting white and black patterns and colors to catch a child’s eye. It has many first words and sounds to develop speech.

- Old Macdonald by Jill Ackerman: This is a soft hand puppet book that’s ideal for baby to play with and they’ll love the animal characters and sounds too!

Best Books for babies:

Below mentioned are some timeless tales that should find a place in your child’s library:

- Dr.Seuss’s- Oh, the places you’ll go: This classic Seussian tale talks about life and the various adventures that befall and teach a valuable lesson to take life in our stride.

- The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown: A mother loves her child and looks out for her no matter what and this beautiful tale about a little bunny and his mum are both beautiful and worth possessing.

- Pantone Colors: This first book is a beautiful way of introducing your child to the world of colors and shades. As your child grows older she will begin to recognize as many as 9 colors and 20 shades with the help of this book.

- If you give a mouse a cookie by Laura Numeroff: This is a perfect book as you begin to read to your toddler teaching her valuable lessons about the cause and effect of each action!

- Goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Pathmann: This one’s a lively book about a gorilla that steals the zoo- keeper’s keys and frees every animal at the zoo! What follows is total chaos!

- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault: What better way to teach alphabets than through this book where each alphabet races the other to get atop the coconut tree!

Happy Reading!!!

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