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.
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Top tips for reading to your one-year-old:
1) Have a special place to read
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:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Best caterpillar book
The classic story of a very hungry Caterpillar, who literally eats his way through the book.
Best zoo book
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?
Best farm book
Follow Buster around the farm and help him find the eggs for his breakfast. Children will love the bold artwork, and the chunky book makes it easier for little hands to hold.
My First Gruffalo Little Library
Best Gruffalo library
Featuring all your little one's favourite characters from the deep dark wood, these bold and bright books will help them to learn about colours, numbers and animals.
My First Words Let's Get Talking
Best for curious toddlers
This book is full of pictures, objects to name and simple questions that are perfect for your curious toddler.
Where Is My Belly Button?
Best belly button book
This book is a fun way to teach young children about different body parts and they'll love pointing out where the baby's eyes, nose and hands are.
Where's Mr Dog?
Best dog book
The felt flaps in this book will withstand enthusiastic toddlers! They'll love trying to find the friendly pets hiding on each page.
Best Spot puppet book
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.
Babies Love: First Words
This colourful book supports your little one in learning words. From dog, to ball and car, the words are hidden behind flaps that children can interact with.
100 First Words: With BIG flaps to lift!
Best first words flaps book
First word books are very important in teaching little ones. The lift up flaps are big enough for your tot to grab too, and it's a fun, vibrant way to teach them their first words.
Guess How Much I Love You
Best love book
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.
Baby Touch and Feel: Animals
Best animals book
Touch and tickle the textures with your baby and help them to learn about different animals. From soft cuddly kittens to scaly lizards, they'll love learning as they read.
Baby's Very First Nursery Rhymes Playbook
Best nursery rhymes
This delightful book will introduce classic nursery rhymes that little ones will love listening too and singing along. It has lift up flaps and touch and feel patches too.
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