Maybe it’s the first grade teacher in me or maybe it’s just my personal love for reading, but I decided even before Mabel was born to stock up on books and make her into a ‘reader’ as soon as she popped into this world. I read to her the first time when she was 3 days old. She lasted about three pages into a Dr. Seuss book before she passed out.
Hey, you gotta start somewhere right?
As Mabel got a little older she tolerated more pages and then we got to the point where everything within her reach got shoved into her mouth. The joys of teething. Except her board books didn’t fare too well.
I thought board books were supposed to withstand anything a child could give it. Hmmm…everything but slobber. The board pages started to become waterlogged and slightly puffy due to her gumming the corners.
Then it dawned on me. GET HER CLOTH BOOKS! Why hadn’t I thought of that before she was born?
The first two cloth books I got her were Fuzzy Bee and Friends and Sesame Street: Elmo is off to School! I purchased both from Amazon. And to my delight she enjoyed both of them. The soft, cloth pages lend themselves to chewing and drool with no damage. And if you’ll notice in the photo at the top of this post, the Sesame Street book is a ‘teething’ book. Two corners are reinforced with soft rubber and the spine of the book is rubber too. Perfect places for a teething baby to nibble on!
Since she loved Fuzzy Bee and Friends, I bought her Squishy Turtle and Friends by the same company (another big hit with Mabel).
All three books also have pages with textures or other little goodies for your baby to play with.
You’ll see on the inside pages, there are other textiles to engage your baby. Mabel loves the dragonfly wings you see in the photo above. Some pages are filled with crinkly feeling and sounding material and in the Sesame Street book there is even a squeaker.
Not only do I read these books with her in my lap, she gets to handle them while she’s playing on her own. This way, she’s getting used to books, seeing printed words and getting familiar with how a book works (turning pages). Exposing your baby so early is a great way to instill a love of reading and not to mention give them a big head start before heading to school.
You’d be amazed at how many parents don’t read to/with their children (and trust me I know since I was first grade teacher). And that’s pretty sad.
So don’t be one of those parents….be a parent who reads with their child! : ) I can’t wait until she’s old enough for me to read chapter books to!