Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tips for Parents of Babies by Parents of "Big Readers"

Are you having a baby in 2012?
Did you have a baby in 2011?

What tips helped you most in those first 12 months of parenting?  What advice would you give to a parent preparing to add a child into their life?

My children are now old enough to start having children.  I have two baby showers to attend to next month! Since the best parents I know are the ones that walk into our children’s department I want to get your advice.  Please post your ideas or come to the library and help me out!

Some of you have responded in a recent survey about how to promote reading.  Here are some of my favorite tips for parents of babies.

"Make reading books part of a daily/nightly routine.  Start very early as babies!
Set a daily reading goal and an end of summer goal. Setting goals helped to read more."

"find a certain time of the day that is ""story time"" (eg, at bedtime)"

"We always read together in bed first thing in the morning and last thing at night.  Books are the first thing they see in the morning and the last thing they see before they go to sleep at night."

"Start early and make it a habit. We read three books every night before bed to each child. They have come to expect and look forward to that time. They also love going to library to pick out their own books and read them as soon as we get home!"

"Make reading a part of the bedtime routine without excuses.  Bring books wherever you go so the children (and babies too!) can entertain themselves while you are trying to shop, visit, etc."

"Wait until at least age 2 to let your kids watch television. As this becomes harder to achieve with multiple kids, still enforce age appropriate time limits. Also avoid video games and handheld electronics as long as possible."

"read to your young children every day for at least 15 minutes." 

"Instead of asking if they "want" to read, we set aside "book time" and they can choose to read a book, listen to a book on CD or flip through pictures in a book or magazine."

"Start young and model your own reading for them, don't stick to just books (magazines, tv guides, cereal boxes, road signs, newspapers, etc."

"Husband and I will sit on the couch and read in the evenings or weekends.  That is the best advice I could ever give.  Turn off the TV, radio, phone, and internet... then read for yourselves.  The child will pick up on it as easily as he/she will pick up on TV watching."

"Make reading a part of your routine with them everyday. Also let them see you take some time to read as well."

"be a role model, read yourself instead of playing computer games"

My advice for you in 2012-
Start your new year off right!  Set a goal to read with your child regardless of age for 15 minutes a day.  You can join our Winter Reading Program: One World Many Stories and receive a prize for completing 21 days of reading.  It is a fun way to join our Library community of readers and shows your children how much you value our Library and books!

If you have more tips for new parents please pass them along!  

Happy New Years!


  1. Many parents of busy toddlers (12-24 months) report that their child will not sit for 15 minutes at one time. We suggest that busy babies start with 1-2 minute sessions several times a day. If the book is exciting, the readers voice is entertaining, and the atmosphere is relaxed then the child will likely start "cuddling up" with books for longer periods of time. Don't give up!

  2. Great article and some great ideas and thoughts! I would add that there is a great book on the shelf in the parenting section of the Children's Dept. called "Baby Read-Aloud Basics". I happened on this book while browsing the shelves when I brought my little guy to story time for the first time this past summer. I thought this book was great not only for the tips it provided, but also for the lists of good read-aloud titles to help you get started. I would highly recommend this book to any new parent!

  3. Beth, Thank you for taking the time to post your tip. This book can be checkout in the Parent/Teacher section on the 1st Floor. Another favorite of mine is by Mem Fox. It is called "Reading magic : why reading aloud to our children will change their lives forever". I met her at a library conference years ago. She was/is very inspiring.


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