Reading Milestones - When You're Reading with Baby
While every child is different, here is what babies do with books and what to expect when you are sharing a story with them:
From birth to 3 months, your baby:
- prefers books with high-contrast colors and patterned designs.
- looks at the pictures but might not want to touch the book.
- gazes at you when you sing songs or share nursery rhymes.
At 4 to 6 months, your baby:
- explores books by putting them in her mouth.
- investigates books by patting, grabbing and pulling pages.
- may coo and babble at you when you read.
At 6 to 12 months, your baby:
- babbles at some of the pictures.
- can turn the pages with your help.
- plays with books like toys.
At 12 to 18 months, your child:
- can hold or carry books without help.
- looks at books independently.
- may look at a book briefly and then switch to another book or activity.
- uses his index finger to point at the illustrations.
At 18 to 24 months, your child:
- may say some of the words and phrases in familiar books.
- pretends to read and mimics reading behaviors of grown-ups.
- may want to hear a favorite story over and over again for fun and comfort.
- may like to carry favorite books around when on the go.
Illustrations © copyright 2001 by Marla Frazee from EVERYWHERE BABIES by Susan Meyers. Reproduced by permission of Harcourt, Inc.