Posts Tagged ‘books’

Do Babies Need to Read?

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

my baby can readI didn’t have cable TV when my kids were born, which still didn’t keep me from hearing about the amazing ‘My Baby Can Read Program’ and its infomercial from lots of well-meaning people. I needed to do it. All the other babies were learning to read, and my kid was going to be behind in pre-k if I didn’t buy it.

Of course, there are tons of programs out there being marketed to new parents. DVDs that will make your kids musical prodigies, foreign language products, alphabet and vocabulary flash cards, baby workbooks…the list is endless. Did I end up buying or being gifted some of that stuff? Yep. Did it work?

Well, according to one recent study, no. The only tangible results from baby reading programs were that the parents thought their babies were learning to read (spoiler alert: they weren’t).

Literacy is something we all want for our children, so if early videos and flashcards aren’t doing the trick, what is? (Which leads me to another question, does very early literacy automatically equate to “more” literacy? I don’t know. I’ve seen research done on preschool’s effect on later academic success, but not on children prior to preschool age.)

The advice that was probably given to our parents still holds true: if you want to foster literacy in your children, you need to read to them. Try and build a varied and rich home library. Become regulars at your local library. Let your kids see you reading. And keep reading to them.

If you have an older child in school, I have found the Scholastic book orders sent home each month to be a fairly affordable way to introduce new books into our library. Some friends for Christmas this past year did a book advent calendar, where each day the children got to open a new book. Kids can be hard on books, but thrift stores and yard sales (and Internet yard sale pages) can also be inexpensive places to source new reading material.

And honestly, if you want to buy your baby early learning materials, go for it. The NYU study cited above didn’t find that babies learned to read, but it didn’t find that it hurt their development in any way, either.

Meaghan Howard is a temporary expat and stay at home mom. She, her husband and two rambunctious boys live in Japan.

Great Books for 6 to 9 Months

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

I love, love, love to read. You’ve probably heard since before you even had kids that you should start reading to your children from birth, but sometimes it gets old reading the same old stories over and over. I found it hard to find books my children seemed really interested in when they were infants and toddlers, and amazon was often super overwhelming.

I turned to my friends for recommendations, and they never steered me wrong. Here are some books, both old and new, that my kids and my friends’ kids loved when they were babies and toddlers.

First off, a classic. If you don’t have Goodnight Moon yet in your home library, consider adding it. The illustrations are really mesmerizing for babies and the story is, as you may have guessed, great for bedtime.

Another classic that almost every young child seems to enjoy is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Again, the illustrations are beautiful and engaging and full of items that children see often.

Any of Sandra Boynton’s board books are a good choice. My sons especially loved Doggies, which is a counting book.

My baby niece is a big Llama Llama fan, and I am too. The books chronicle Baby Llama having to learn to deal with the frustrations in his life in an acceptable way. She also really loves Grumpy Cat (no, not the internet star), which has an adorable story line but also features cats, which she loves.

David is an adorable little boy that gets into trouble. A lot. This series includes board books, is very illustration heavy and totally adorable.

Finally, BabyLit books are super fun. They’re based off of classics like Pride and Prejudice (and if you’re a P&P fan, there’s a version of Goodnight Moon called Goodnight Mr. Darcy, too) and Moby Dick, but use really engaging pictures and text to teach things about things like counting and oceans.

If your city or town is lucky enough to have a Dolly Parton Imagination Library program, take advantage of it! You can register your child at birth (or after), and the program sends a new book each month (to keep!) for your child to enjoy. We were always very happy with the selections that came. And the best part–it’s FREE!

Meaghan Howard is a mom to two little boys, ages 3 and 6. She’s currently enjoying the expat life in Japan.

Best Breastfeeding Books for Moms

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Best Breastfeeding Books for MomsIf you are like me, you constantly want to stay on top of the latest information in mommyland. I breastfed my daughter, Johanna, for 13 months. However, with the upcoming arrival of my son, I have been researching books on nursing like crazy. With my daughter, we had a rough start with nursing, and I want this time to go smoother from the start. Here are a few of the best books on breastfeeding out there, in my opinion.

3. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

This book has several authors and is written with the support of La Leche League International, so you know it is going to have valuable information and be a good read. It is a bestseller and contains stories, advice, photos, and lots of information for moms and moms-to-be.

Interesting Features:

  • Information about nursing post C-section or after a rough delivery with complications
  • Guidance for moms on breast health issues and other topics from daycare to medications that are safe
  • Internet references for moms who want more information and support from La Leche League

2. The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers

This book is written by Jack Newman. Dr. Newman has established breastfeeding clinics all over the country, and in this book, he has provided a guide for moms to overcome any fears or worries they have while traveling through their nursing journey. This book focuses on the possibilities of succeeding in breastfeeding more than the difficulties women have with nursing.

Interesting Features:

  • Information on weaning toddlers
  • Breastfeeding help for moms who adopt or have premature babies
  • How to handle a nursing strike or if baby simply refuses the breast
  • Tons of resources for mom

1. The Better Way to Breastfeed: The Latest, Most Effective Ways to Feed and Nurture Your Baby with Comfort and Ease

I recently checked out this book by Robin Elise Weiss at my local library and I was not disappointed. It features information on any topic you can think of within the subject of  nursing. I was overwhelmed with all of the information that I could use with my upcoming arrival of my son.

Interesting Features:

  • Tips and tricks for how to nurse a needy newborn and handle older children
  • Ideas for what to wear while you are breastfeeding to make you feel comfortable in public
  • References and checklists to help you know when you need to ask for help
  • Ways to incorporate breastfeeding into your everyday lifestyle

While there are many, many books on breastfeeding out there, I think these are three of the best. Breastfeeding is an amazing way to nourish your baby and take care of yourself. As moms, we should never quit wanting to learn more and grow as mothers. Get to reading, moms!

Karyn Meyerhoff  is a mom of one and one on the way. She hopes that the first month of breastfeeding her son will be a breeze after reading up on some information she forgot about.

Great Books For Babies

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Reading to your baby is a great way to help your baby learn words, shapes, colors, and sounds. Sometimes it can be hard to know which books are worth having permanently on your baby’s bookshelf though. Without further ado, here is a collection of purchase-worthy baby books!

Great Books for babiesBaby Lit books: These fantastic board books have been my daughter’s favorite books since she was about six months old! From The Jungle Book to Pride and Prejudice to Moby Dick, this series covers a wide range of literary classics. The author and illustrator take the classics and turn them into adorable children’s word or counting books with lush beautiful pictures. My daughter’s favorite is Alice in Wonderland, a color word book which has taught her all her colors.

Sandra Boynton books: These board books have adorable stories with fantastic rhymes, and are short enough to hold baby’s attention for the whole book. Our favorites are But Not The Hippopotamus and Blue Hat, Green Hat, but they really are all fabulous.

Goodnight Moon: The classic bedtime story is an essential for every child’s bookshelf, but I love the little board book edition for the baby stage. The sing song rhymes help babies wind down for sleep and the whimsical story is timeless.

Love You Forever: This was a favorite from my childhood, and the sweet loving story makes it a popular classic. The lilting rhymes keep baby’s attention well and a board book edition makes it baby friendly.

Great Books for BabiesPat The Bunny: Another favorite from my childhood, I love sharing this story with my kids. I love how interactive each page is with the different textures for baby to feel.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?: This classic was a favorite with my daughter as a baby. It’s bright, colorful pictures really grab a baby’s attention and it is another great way to teach colors.

Hopefully this list gives you some great ideas for books to read to your baby! All of these are just quality books that would be a wonderful addition to a baby’s bookshelf.

Becca Schwartz is a cloth diapering, baby wearing, semi-crunchy mama to a toddler girl and newborn boy. She and her husband have a small mini-farm with a flock of chickens, a few goats and rabbits, and are making plans to move out west to start a homesteading adventure together!