How to Read to your Baby/Toddler
Try to set aside time to read to your baby/toddler daily. We all have busy schedules, but even setting
aside 10-15 minutes to read everyday can make a huge impact. Bedtime is a great time to read together!
Sit with and hold your child while you read
When reading with babies, hold and cuddle your baby while you read. If you are reading with a toddler,
have them sit in your lap so they can help you hold the book and turn the pages. Remember to find a
relaxing and comfortable place to read with minimal distractions.
Have fun with your voice
Using a singsong voice engages your child’s attention. If the book includes different characters, create
different voices for each character. Don’t be afraid to be a little silly while reading, use different voices,
sound effects, and body movements. This will only increase your child’s attention to the story and spark
Know when your child is done reading
There may be times when your child loses interest in the story and stops paying attention. This is okay. If
they are not enjoying the story just stop reading. As you continue to read with your child daily, even if
it’s just a couple of minutes, they will be able to sit for longer periods of time to listen to the story.
Pictures! Pictures! Pictures!
While reading, point to and talk about the pictures in the book. This will give our child a visual to go
along with their story. Sometimes, it’s best to just not read the words at all and tell the story through
the illustrations. Ask your toddler questions like “What is that called?” and “Who is that?” to keep them
Choose the right books
Have your toddler help you choose a book to read. For young children, especially, make sure the words
are simple. If you feel the text is too complicated, you can always change it to make hold your child’s
interest. Books that contain repetition or rhymes are always great! To encourage participation with
babies, use books that make noise, contain pop-up pictures, hidden flaps, and different textures.