Bookbug Detective: reading with your baby

Reading with your baby
Category: Parents

The Bookbug Detective is on hand to help you with any questions about Early Years books and reading. Thank you to everyone who has sent in their questions so far. The Detective has selected a question to answer below. If you'd like some book recommendations or advice send the Bookbug Detective an email!

My question is about how to read with my 10 month old little boy.  He loves his books - he can sit happily looking at his board books on his own for 5 minutes or more, which is great.  But when I try to sit and read a book with him, he wants to turn the pages back and forth, close the book and look at the front and back cover - everything but sit still and listen to the story! Maybe I'm just not an engaging enough reader, despite my best efforts.  Do you have any recommendations?

First of all, your son is perfectly normal – at that age it’s rare to get a child to sit through a full picture or board book (or even part of one), so please don’t worry. We now have video footage on our website of parents reading the books from the Bookbug packs with their children, and as you’ll see, it doesn’t always go smoothly and that’s absolutely fine!

It’s great that he’s getting a chance to become familiar with books - it really doesn’t matter if you don’t make it through to the end of the book

Even though your son isn’t reading the story, it’s great that he’s getting a chance to become familiar with books and learn how to turn the pages etc. When he gets a bit older you’ll probably find that he’ll just naturally want to have more of the story read to him. It’s probably best not to force him into it – let him choose when he wants more (otherwise you might put him off).

I’m absolutely sure it’s got nothing to do with your reading style – don’t worry about that! I think you’re doing absolutely the right thing in just looking through and chatting about the pictures. There are so many things you can discuss – you can make animal noises, or comment on what could be happening in the story or on which page is your favourite. It really doesn’t matter if you don’t make it through to the end of the book, however frustrating it may feel for you.

What you could try is singing a couple of songs or nursery rhymes together. The rhymes and rhythms will help your child’s reading and speech later on in life. You could also play audio books as your child is going to sleep. There are some lovely audio CDs for little ones available (but I will say that your child will prefer your voice to a stranger’s!).

Does he have any particular favourite books at the moment? You could also try more interactive books, eg. Books with flaps, mirrors, touchy feely books. These things might engage him a wee bit more. I’ve suggested a few below:

Anyway, let me know how you get on and if you’d like any more advice.

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Catch up on the previous Bookbug Detective blogs.

Kirsty Sinclair

Kirsty Sinclair is the Early Years Outreach Co-ordinator for Scottish Book Trust.