I can clearly recall stories my mother told me about my fascination for books. She chronicled how I would go on flipping through the pages of my older siblings’ books, mumbling some unknown words to myself.
She said I read them with all seriousness – life one whose life depended on them even when I could barely talk. (I wonder what books were fascinating to me then though). Little wonder I grew into a writer.
If you’re a mother, chances are that your child(ren) may exhibit such character – a love for the book –like I did while I was still a toddler.
Right now, anytime my little nieces visit me, the first thing they would grab is a book. Their love for the written words, more so, if there are pictures, is out of this world.
Babies love books, and as a mother, I don’t expect you not to feed that craving in them for the written words.
It might be a tad hard as a young mother rummaging through piles of books, looking for the perfect one for your child. This is even more confusing if you have had a long list of recommended babies’ books from, maybe your mother, neighbors or friends who are more experienced than you in the parenting world.
There may be a number of questions running through your mind. These questions may include “How much do I need to get good books for my child?”, “What kind of book would my baby like?” and a host of others.
There is no point, however, for you to worry as I would take you by the hand in this guide, on how you can get books for your baby without having much of a hassle doing so.
Follow me, as we go on this exciting ride into the world of books for babies!
Why Get Books For Babies?
Like many parents, you may have asked this question. Yes, it is good you did that.
Getting books for your baby is an investment that would yield better dividends for you as well as the child. Buying books for your babies would ensure the following:
Books and reading have proven over time to stimulate the mental state of babies. Seeing words on paper, alongside photos, can trigger your baby’s interest in reading and other intellectual tasks.
This would help him develop an analytical mind, even as a child, and thus able to make meaningful contributions to discuss when he grows up.
Also, as a parent, books can further deepen the bond you share with your baby. This is mostly true if you read your baby’s books with him. Trust me, every parent wants that relationship – a bond with their baby.
What to Look Out For When Buying Books For Babies
Now that you have made up your mind to get a book for your baby, let me show you how to make that experience a worthwhile one for you. Here is how to get the right books for babies whether you are a mother, father, uncle, aunt et al:
Take Not Of Age Range
You may have been using the expression “age is just a number.” Well, even though age may not matter in some things, when buying books for babies, it is one of the most essential things you have to consider to make the right choice.
Whenever you want to get books for babies, you must consider their ages. A child between 0-2 years would not read the same kind of book as children who are above that age. This is important as a baby’s age determines, to a great extent, their level of mental development. The older your baby, the better his mental alertness or capability and vice-versa.
Usually, if your baby is very young, books with a whole lot of images might be your best bet. The opposite could be the case once they begin to grow older.
Most bookshops have made it even easier for you as they have babies books shelved according to their ages.
Take Note Of Your Budget
Different books cost different amounts in bookstores. Just like every buying decision you have to make, you must factor in the cost of getting babies books before you head over to the shelves in the nearby bookshop.
Don’t Shop With Yourself as Yardstick
One of the biggest mistakes you can make while shopping for books for babies is to use yourself as a yardstick. That is you buy your baby’s books just the same way you buy yours.
I understand that classic books may be in vogue and everyone wants their kids to read such books, however, bear in mind that your child may not love such books. Times change and with this comes to the turn of language. Buying babies books based on what you like or have read in the past means that you are getting something written in a language that is far removed from your child’s. Don’t go shopping for books written in the ‘70s, ‘60s et al and grumble if it turns out that your baby does not love such books.
Take them along while shopping. While you go shopping for books for babies, one way you can get closer to buying the right books is by taking them along.
When they go shopping with you, allow them to pick the books they like. You know why? Their interest in those books is an indication that they would not battle so hard reading them.
While it might also be true that your baby does not know what is good for him, allowing him to pick those books he likes will give you an idea of what to buy when you eventually do.
If he rejects a book, ask him why and if he picks a book, also do the same. It will help you understand your child’s preferences better. This will, in turn, help you make the best buying decision.
Go For Picture Books
The popular saying that pictures speak more than a thousand words cannot be truer when you are shopping for your baby’s books. Babies love photos and besides loving images, your baby may not have developed the capacity to be read much text, unlike you. So, getting a picture book would enable him to assimilate the stories rightly than boring him with only texts.
In fact, it is even better if you get your baby a book that comes with good quality images and illustrations. Books with quality images can help in drawing your baby’s attention to reading. Since your child is still developing his senses, slamming him with a lot of texts might put him off reading.
Go For Wrapper
One of the best ways to make a good book buying decision for your baby is getting him one that comes with a wrapper. This is so important since your baby is still developing and would need to have a feel for the different senses – touch, smell, taste, sight. A book with wrapper can do this work well.
Going for a book with wrapper will help to stimulate these senses just as it would help in making it last longer than one without a wrapper.
Used or New?
This is one question that you are likely to ask when you want to make a choice of books for your baby.
Whether you are going for new or used books for babies, always bear in mind that you are not just doing it to fulfill all righteousness. What you should go for are books that your buyer would find useful – not whether they are old, new or cheaper.
With new books, you are less likely to battle with how safe it is for your baby, health wise, even though such books would be cheaper. If you are getting used books for babies, you may need to check if some of the pages have been ripped off, torn or even blurry.
Ultimately, it is not whether the baby books are new or used – it is in your ability to pick the right ones for your ward that matters!
Buy Story Books
Research has shown that babies love stories. Yes, they do even though they may not have developed all of their senses.
Even if you feel like it is a waste of time reading storybooks to your baby, you are helping in developing his sense. There is also that bond that exists between you and your baby as he hears your voice.
However, ensure that you get storybooks that your baby can relate to. As much as possible, avoid storybooks with contents that describe an experience that your baby cannot relate with. For instance, buying a storybook that talks about winter and snow may be a bad idea for your baby if you stay where such a thing does not happen.
This will make your baby not lose interest in the book since he may most likely have a deep-rooted emotional connection with it.
Avoid Books with Loads of Negative Emotions
You know your child is just developing and can quickly grab things. This is the more important reason why you should check the content of the books you buy for him. To ensure that they do not contain expressions of sadness, anger, and other negative emotions.
Also, make sure what the book teaches is not against your value system. If the book exalts violence and crime, it might be bad move getting such for your baby.
Where To Buy Books For Babies
The advent of the internet has altered the landscape in every sphere of life. Buying books before now was something you did in bookstores in your neighborhoods. However, that is not totally the case now with several online bookshops selling books for babies.
You can stay in the comfort of your home, search an online shop’s shelves and place an order for any baby’s book of your choice. Easy does it. While some online shops can charge you for shipping costs, others would do it free for you.
Physical Bookstores: However, if you can do this, you should go to the old and known way – shop offline. The interesting part about this is that you can see the books physically. This enables you to feel it and know if it is the right choice for your baby.
How To Take Care Of Books For Babies
I want to believe that everyone knows how to take care of books even without being told. But in case you do not know, here are some great tips.
Keep Away From Water and Food
Your baby would most definitely pour some water, and litter his books with food crumbs if you do not take it away from such places.
Food particles can attract ants and that will destroy the books, making your investment a waste.
So, if you are reading your baby’s book with him, make sure you are not eating. It is important to pick your baby’s books with a clean hand after reading.
Store In A Safe Place Free From Humidity
This would prevent the book from getting damaged easily. When your baby’s book is not free from humidity, chances are that they can easily get torn or grow molds.
If you have a book shelve, it is appropriate for you to pick your books by the middle of the spine. This is to make sure the book does not get torn.
How To Make Your Child Interested In Books
Even if your baby finds it hard developing an interest in reading books, there are some things you can do to make him do the opposite. Some of these ways are:
Reading it to him.
Turning it into song.
Reading to him at bedtime.
Do not pressure him to read when he is tired.
Allow him to touch and flip the book.
Allow him to read or mumble the words if he is able to recognize words/letters.
Reading with babies can be an interesting experience for both you and your child. The emotional bond and the intellectual gain among others are enough reasons to know your investment is worthwhile.
I know that this guide would be handy for you as you begin that quest to get the best books for your baby. Happy book reading to you and your baby! See ya!