Does my Baby Love Me? A book guide on how to teach your baby about love

Do babies love? It’s a question that a lot of parents may be asking in those first few (very tough but very rewarding) months and even years. Those all-nighters with screaming bubs can certainly have parents wondering! But never fear, to celebrate Valentine’s day BookTrust has done some digging to answer the question once and for all – and it’s a definite YES! But how can you tell? And how do you teach your baby about love?

Let’s take a deep dive into how, why and which books are best to teach your baby about luurrveeee.

The first few weeks…

Babies are born to fall in love, and their brains are being wired from before birth! Did you know that 80% of brain growth happens in the first two years?

One of the best ways to bond with your baby in this time and teach them about love is through reading. Not only does it help develop your little one emotionally, socially and cognitively, but inspiring a love for reading in those early years can set them up with skills and open their mind to opportunities for their life time.



TIP:At this age little ones LOVES= your voice. Studies have shown that babies are even more soothed by familiar nursey rhymes they heard while in the womb.So it’s never too early to read to your bub and soothe them.

 

1-3 Months
Is your baby making eye contact, starting ‘gurgle conversations’ and beginning to smile back at you? Yes, this is love! As your little one’s sight continues to develop, they begin to recognise, communicate and trust their loved ones.

TIP: At this age your little one loves faces rather than objects. Read books that let your little one observe your facial expressions.

                                                    

3-7 Months

Watch out for your jewellery and hair! Your baby is getting more movement and will be reaching out to grab you and be fascinated by sensory stimulations, rattling, shaking (baby games).

TIP: Sensory books will get you little one touching and playing with new sounds and textures. Also, they will love you for giving them an exciting new toy.

 

7-12 Months
Remember that screaming we mentioned? You might well be in the middle of it right about now as your little one is exploring and learning about new emotions! Don’t worry, the foundation of love is as thick as concrete and sleepless nights might also be balanced with your babies first hugs and kisses!

TIP: Playtime! There is an extra burst of brain development when attachment bonds are made by this point so it’s important to be interactive. Being able to sing songs and use interactive books will help you increase bonds with your bub.

 

12-24 Months

Has your baby suddenly been replaced by a little person? Eeekk! Your little one will be showing joy, frustration, and a whole lot more. It’s also the copy-cat age – children will be mimicking your actions and understanding symbols and themes. This is also the age your tiny tot will start to socialise more – so make sure you show them how it’s done: how to share, how to be brave, and much more. Researchers have found a direct link between books and emotional growth for this age group.

TIP: Set an example – let your little one watch you be kind to your friends and read books which show these themes.

 

Emily Drabble, Head of children’s books promotion and prizes, BookTrust said: ‘We have lots of mums and dads here in the BookTrust office and know all parents live for those special moments when your little ones show affection. Learning love through reading and bedtime stories is an incredibly intimate way to bond with your little one and teach them lessons of love that will last a lifetime!”

 

BookTrust’s Baby Lovin’ Book List

 

The first few weeks…

Title: Here We Are

Author: Oliver Jeffers

Publisher:HarperCollins

Title:When I Was A Child

Author: Andy Stanton & David Litchfield

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books 

 

1-3 Months

Title:Who?

Author:Robie H Harris

Illustrator: Natascha Rosenberg

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed  

                       

Title:Making Faces

Author:Abrams

Photos: Molly Magnuson

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

 

 

3-6 Months

Title:Where’s Mrs Ladybird?

Author: Ingela Arrhenius

Publisher: Nosy Crow                                                                           

 

 

7-12 Months

Title:Five Little Ducks

Author: Yu-hsuan Huang    

Publisher: Nosy Crow                                 

Title:Wiggly Wiggly Playtime Rhymes

Author: Jez Alborough

Publisher: Walker Books         

 

 

12-14 Months

Title:I Love You      

Author: Clemency Pearce   

Illustrator: Rosalind Beardshaw                                 

Publisher: Nosy Crow

Title:I’ll Always Love You     

Author: Mark Sperring               

Illustrator: Alison Brown

Publisher: Bloomsbury                                                  

About Monica Costa

Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums

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