Babies enjoy and respond to repeated sounds, words, and rhymes. Babies love to imitate sounds they hear and can explore and enjoy books with their eyes, ears, and mouth. As your baby grows, she/he will point to and name pictures in a book when asked.
Babies smile and giggle when hearing rhyming words; e.g., funny bunny. Your baby moves her/his arms and legs when she/he hears a familiar, happy, sing-song voice. She/he can recognize a favorite book by its cover, point to pictures in a book and make sounds or smile. Your baby laughs, smiles, and enjoys hearing repeated words; e.g., "The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round."
Babies recognize the faces and voices of those who are familiar to them and will begin to connect books with people she/he loves most. Make time to read every day-even for just a few minutes at a time. Borrow or buy books that have colorful pictures and some words that relate to the pictures; e.g., pictures of animals with words telling what the animal says. Model for your baby how to hold and use books properly.
When reading, your baby will begin to looks at pages in the book as you read. Imitate the sounds that objects make: A train goes "choo-choo." Hold your baby and use a happy, sing-song voice while reading. When reading stories, involve your baby by asking her/him to point to a picture and ask, "What's this?" Talk about the picture. Babies learn to pay attention to pictures and interact with the story in the book.
Photo credit: David Powers
Like a garden that is ready to be planted, the brain of your baby is ready to learn. At this age, your baby needs to learn from you how to communicate (speak, look, listen). Talk, sing, and read to your baby. Even if it seems that your infant is not paying attention, he or she is learning how to use language from the best teacher—YOU!