There’s a lot happening in your little one’s brain at every age and stage. Because of all that’s happening, simple acts like reading aloud have many benefits for your baby. That’s why Raising Readers’ committee of clinicians and early literacy experts takes special care to choose the perfect books for each age group before they make their way into your home libraries.
In this series, one of those experts, Kathryn Landon-Malone, PhD and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, shares what’s happening at each given age and why reading aloud to your little one helps foster their growth and development.
Four-month-old babies begin to reach out and touch the world with hands, bodies, smiles, and coos. With open hands they reach, grasp, briefly hold on to objects, and begin to explore toys, books, and people. Not only are 4-month-olds practicing using their hands, they are busy rolling side-to-side and may even roll all the way over. It seems they are constantly moving making reading time active! Four-month-olds vocalize their pleasure and initiate games and fun. Their eyes can track moving objects or pictures on a page, studying each one.
Here are some tips to help your baby connect with books when they’re 4 months old:
- Watch your baby scan the pages and notice what is focused on the most. They will let you know their favorite pictures by spending more time focusing on those.
- Notice if your little one reaches with hands to explore their favorite image. Bright contrasting colors, textures to touch, familiar objects and animals will be cooed over with “ahhh’s” and “ngahhs.” You might even get one of those first great belly laughs.
- At this age, we choose board books that hold up to drool, mouthing, and wet hands. So let your baby explore these books with their mouths and hands—touching pages with drooly fingers shows their desire to explore the book further.
Want to learn more about the benefits of reading aloud? See more of what’s happening and explore all the doctor-approved books we’ve given to 4 month-olds over the years on our website