Author: Nina Laden

Birth to 5 Months Predictable Text

Bright colors and peek-a-boo windows are sure to grab your baby’s attention, and support vision and brain development. Playful guessing rhymes create a fun and engaging tone for reading with your little one.

Before, During and After Reading

Phonological Awareness

Engage in a playful game of peek-a-boo with your baby by singing a sweet rhyming song. Here’s an example: 

Where’s my baby? (Look around the room) 

Peek -a-boo! (Make eye contact with your baby)

There’s my baby (tickle baby),

 I love you! (as you gently hug and kiss your baby)

Follow your baby’s cues and sing as long as she is interested. Once you notice her looking away or becoming disengaged, stop. At this age, babies can get tired and overstimulated quickly, which is perfectly normal.

Oral Language

While you sit together, make sure to hold the book close enough for your baby to see the images (usually eight to ten inches from her face). As you read the story, watch your baby’s eyes and see which images she is drawn to. As you notice where she focuses on a page, touch and name the object or animal. You might say:

You’re looking at the cow, he says moo!

Beginning Writing

Pull out soft zoo or farm animal toys or stuffed animals and allow your baby to feel and explore them during floor play or tummy time. If your baby is on her back, hold the animal about eight inches from her chest and you give her a moment to focus on the toy. Slowly lower the toy and allow her to grasp it. If your baby is on her tummy, place the toy in front of her and allow her to look at and engage with the toy. While she plays, name the animal and make the noise it makes. For example, you might say:

You found the cow, the cow says moo!

Remember to pause when you talk, to give your baby time to comprehend what you’re saying. Try not to overwhelm baby with too many toys at once.  Try offering her one animal at a time to focus on and touch.

Learn more about the "Dos and Don'ts" of reading with your baby as he grows. Or, find an easy at-home activity designed to build pre-reading skills in your baby.