Baby-led reading – what is it and how do I do it?
Baby-led reading is just that; reading that is led by your baby or child. Baby-led reading helps stop your baby becoming bored or disinterested in books. It allows them to take the lead and decide when, what and how they would like to be read to. How do you do it?
Below is a list of tips on how to practice this way of reading with your little one.
1. I recommend reading to your baby from birth, so initially it will be adult led. However, always be aware of any signals your baby is giving you; they could be over stimulated, tired, not interested etc. These signals may be subtle (turning their face away from the book) or obvious (crying out).
2. Show your baby the sign for book (making your hands into the shape of a book and opening them) so they can let you know when they want to read – this is the only sign I taught our daughter but I was so glad I did.
3. As soon as your baby can, let them decide what books they would like to read. You can do this by holding up two books and asking which one they would prefer.
4. When reading, if your baby turns the page before you finished reading it do not turn the page back, just start reading again on the next page.
5. If your baby starts to point out pictures on the pages follow their actions – perhaps stop reading the story altogether and just focus on pictures instead.
6. Observe your baby and get books that reflect their interests – cars, animals, and the farm are three obvious choices. Young babies often love looking at real pictures and photos – especially of other babies.
7. Try to get board books for young babies to limit the temptation to rip or tear pages. Lift the flap books are great for young babies but remember to have lots of sticky tape on hand as they love to pull them off too!