Reading to your baby or toddler? 5 questions to ask yourself

hi guys i hope you're doing well i'm

vidya and

if you're familiar with my videos you'll

know that i talk a lot about reading for


children specifically babies and

toddlers reading to them

and almost every single day i get a

comment or a message

something along the lines of so i've got

the books but my baby is just not

interested whenever i try to read to


he or she just pulls the grabs the book

and tries to chew on it or just pushes

it away and moves on to other things

so how do i get my baby to be more

interested in the books that i'm trying

to read to them

so this the short answer to this is that

you don't

you don't try to get your baby to do

something they don't want to

but if you want to make story time more

enjoyable and less stressful for both


and the baby you might find some ideas

in this video that you can try

first thing is to look at your

expectations about reading especially

for babies and toddlers this young

so if you've been brought up in the

traditional conventional education

system you'll have this certain idea

that reading has to be done in this

particular way like you have to sit down

you have to open the book hold the book

you have to focus on the written word

and then read but for babies it's


for them it's another experience it's

just another way to explore the world

around them which they're learning right

so just like how they watch a ball

bounce and they try to catch it

or they try to figure out how every food

tastes different and every food

has a different texture this is just

another way to experience it that's why

i always say that

reading is important yes but it's just

another part of their day right

so let's say you're reading to your

child and your baby or toddler just

reaches over and grabs the book and

starts to chew on it

many of us react in this way and we say

hey no don't do that

books are not for chewing books are for

reading and you take the book away

so what your baby sees is that this is a

limit there's a limitation i'm not

supposed to do this

i don't know why but if i do it mom

appears to get annoyed and that's no fun

so i'll just ignore it i'll do things

other things that it is

that are more acceptable for me to

manipulate in my way right so i'll find

a toy or something that i can chew on

or bang on because they still need to

explore with their senses so if

if this way is not allowed for them

they'll just find another way so they're

losing interest in that

so i would suggest getting books that

you don't mind getting destroyed

or you could choose thick board books or

fabric books or books

indestructible books are my favorite for

little babies and toddlers

and let them just feel the weight of the

book the texture

the smell the taste even and let them

experience it

in their own way but if you find that

they're chewing on

all the books there might be another

reason they might be teething or


you could give them a teether or a

chewing toy or something or a teething

cracker or a teething biscuit right and

then while they are chewing on that you

can flip through the book and see the

pictures with them

so that that urge to chew on things is

also being satisfied while at the same

time listening to your voice

and just having this bonding experience

of reading a book together

second thing i want to talk about is

choosing a good time for reading

this does not have to do with a time of

the day or a certain

routine that you want to set up although

that is good too

but this has got more to do with the

schema that your child is in

so have you noticed that sometimes your

child wants to do something

and no matter how much you try to get

them to do something else or distract


they just will keep on doing that same

thing over and over like climbing on


if they want to climb they will have to

climb right like if they keep throwing

things they might be the trajectory

schema and they have to explore how


move through air so how does this relate

to reading

well if you are trying to get your child

to read when they are in some movement

phase where they have to do something

physical and you're trying to get them

to sit down and read

one they may not come and they will just

keep moving around

making you feel frustrated secondly if

they do listen to you

they are missing out on listening to

their own body

their own natural needs to explore so

what do you do then i'd say observe and

see if your child is engrossed in

learning a new skill

like for example it's not something big

right it could be

something as simple as dropping a spoon

and listening to the sound it makes when

it hits the ground

or seeing your reaction when they drop

something and it breaks

uh so they're learning cause and effect

so they're thinking if i do this

this happens and that's a skill for them

so if they're engrossed in learning that


leave them alone let them do that and

just wait

for when they are ready to pick up a

book or something when my son was a

toddler i would choose times when he was

more curious

and when he would pick up a book i would

genuinely get excited and i would say

come let's read this book together you

want to see what's inside and i would

help him flip the pages

and see the different pictures and he

would see that i'm getting excited

and see that this is something that you

know is fun

mom seems to be having fun with this so

let me see what it's about

other times we would read to him were

when we were giving him a massage when

he was a baby

and one of us would read to him while

the other massages him

so he would be relaxed and he would look

at the pictures and enjoy the

sound of our voice and also when he was

a baby when we were waiting for a burp

after feeding that was like he has to be

upright so he would be

looking at a book or flipping through

some pages we also read just before

going to bed

that has been a routine for us ever

since he was a baby

and he's usually more calm at that time

and he is usually drinking his milk

so we get into bed and dim the lights a

little bit and just

make this a cozy bonding time for us and

that's something we look forward to even


bedtime reading so apart from that story

time at night there was no specific

routine when he was a toddler

and that has really worked out because

that means

he was not forced to sit down with me

and read and he saw that genuinely when

he picked up a book

that could turn into a fun experience

the next thing i would like you to


is if you're being too clean or too tidy

now i like

having a clean space and being organized

as much as the next person

but sometimes as new parents we get


by the amount of baby stuff that's

taking over our home

and we try to put everything away just

to maintain some sense of order right so

we try to

pick up the toys put away the books

everything is out of sight and that

makes us feel a little calm but for


out of sight really means out of mind so

when you put away those books they're

really actually forgetting about them

so i would suggest leaving a few not too

many but a few books along with their


so when my son was less than one year

old i would mix his

toys and books together there was only a

few at that point

and it would all be in a bin after we

have tidied up they would all be in a

big open wide basket

um front and center in his play area so

he could pick through books and toys

as he wants to and as we added more

books to his collection

we put them in an open cart facing all

the books forward so he could see the

covers of all the books and that's

usually what's recommended for babies

and toddlers

i would say start with just a few books

and leave them around with their toys

and just let them pick them up and flip

through it like that's it

that's what reading is at this point

there's nothing more to it to sidetrack

a little bit i sometimes get

asked why i focus so much on reading for

babies and toddlers

because they are going to read all their

lives they're going to be reading in


anyway so why pressure them from when

they're so young

which is the exact opposite of what i'm

trying to do but

when you think this way it means that

you see

reading as a very serious academic


something that you only do at school for

marx you don't see it as something that

brings you joy

i know a lot of you don't think this way

and you actually enjoy reading books for

the sake of reading

but remember that whatever your attitude

is towards books your child is going to

inherit that at least in the first few

years of their life

so if they see you enjoying a book uh

reading it for pleasure they will

see that this is something that is fun

so whatever the parents attitude is

uh we need to be a little bit more

mindful of projecting that to our


and um also notice that i focus a lot on

reading two children

not getting the children to read so that

is also important literacy is important

getting them to learn their abcs all of

that will come later

it will all come at its own time but

what i want to stress on

is reading for pleasure reading to enjoy

our time together reading as a way of

bonding with your child

and the way that your voice changes when

you read is also noticeable to the child

and all of this is new and also a couple

of other things i would suggest reading

what is written in the book as much as


so it's good to choose appropriate books


so that you don't have to make much

changes to whatever is written

sometimes i need to make changes to

what's written like for example

i don't like using the word hate with my

preschooler or when

my son was very young so instead of hate

i would read it as

does not like and uh that change would


something i would do every single time i

read that book so i would suggest

reading the actual words in the book and

if there's any changes you make

use the same vocabulary every time why

this is important is because our

the vocabulary that we use when we are

talking normally

is usually different from the vocabulary

that's there in the books

and they get exposed to a lot of rich

language when you actually read the book

to them

i say this because sometimes i notice

parents reading a book but they're

actually not reading the words in it

they are just making up the story as

they go along

which is fine sometimes but also i would

put this idea forward then actually read

the book

if you've not been doing that so those

were a few things i wanted to share with

you guys

and if you want ideas for picking books

for babies and toddlers

i have a bunch of videos about these

about starting a library for your child

a book collection for your child and

you're welcome to check those out

i'll leave them all in the description

box below and leave a comment down below

if you found some tips that are useful

for you

while reading with your child just to

end i would like to apologize to anyone

i haven't replied to personally

i know a lot of you have been asking

questions about this topic and

i tried to reply to everyone but i like

you heard i had a lot to say and

sometimes it gets a little late so i'm


sorry if you if i've not replied to you

personally but i hope you were able to

get some ideas from this and

some ways that you could practically

implement with your child

and if you do please let me know i love

hearing from you

and i love seeing the pictures you sent

of you reading with your children

the same books that me and vikrant read

it makes me feel like we have something

in common so it just makes my day

so thank you for sharing those and i'll

see you in another video of mine so

until then please take care of

yourselves and be safe bye