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Reading to your baby is one of the best things that you can do for them for many different reasons, and they're never too little to start having a reading hour - no matter how tricky it might be to keep them engaged. Even if you have to encourage your one-year-old with a snack, reading has a lot of benefits for their development.
Whether you choose to read in a special chair in the house or when you tuck them up in bed at night, having a designated 'reading area' is a good way for your baby to pick up on social queues of when it is time to read. It will eventually become part of their little routine and they'll start looking forward to it each day.
2) Let them choose their own book
If they are able to, let them choose their favourite book for you to read to them! It might feel a little repetative if they choose the same book each time, but repetition is how babies learn.
3) Involve your baby in reading
Hold your baby close while you read to them, that way they will feel comfortable cuddled up to you and they'll be able to see the book, too. They might not understand what's going on in the story, but you can encourage them to get involved by talking to them about what's on the page or pointing out different animals, objects and colours, or even interact with it if it's an interactive book with flaps or sound buttons.
4) Don't give up!
Sometimes, it's not always easy to read a book, especially if your little one is tired, restless or more interested in something else. But the important thing is to not give up! Keep encouraging them to sit with you, and even if they won't, continue to read the book as normal because they might come back to join in reading and they'll pick up on the fact you've not put the book down yourself.
5) Buy colourful books
When buying books for your child, choose books with bright colours and lots of illustrations as it will attract their attention a lot more. Thick pages so that they're easy for your little one to hold and turn pages are also a good idea, as well as the story being simple and repetitive.
What are the best books for babies?
Take a look at our top picks of books for one-year-old babies:
A book that has been a firm favourite with parents and toddlers for years, Dear Zoo is an interactive flap book that your tot will love. Will they ever manage to find the perfect pet as they discover the different animals the zoo has sent?
Spot is a timeless classic. In the book, puppy Spot has gone missing at dinner time and Mummy dog, Sally, must find him. This book is part of a collection of many stories about Spot’s adventures that are a part of pretty much everyone’s childhood.
This is the story of two Nutbrown Hares, Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare and how it’s impossible to measure how much you love your little one. A great story to read to your tot with a big cuddle at the end.
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