You look at your swaddled newborn with tears in your eyes. He’s so little. His face lights up with a beautiful grin. Your journey together is just beginning. Provide the best for him by giving him your attention.
“Next to breastfeeding, reading is probably the best bonding experience for you and your little one,” said Youth Services Supervisor LeAnn Brungardt.
Cuddle your infant and share a board book. Explore the pictures, point to objects and name them. Read the words. Be expressive and use silly voices, moo like a cow, bark like a dog. Laugh together. Ask questions about what you see. Let him try turning the pages. Build a foundation of joy through this simple act of spending time together with books.
Routine is key. Read to your child early and often. Every night or after breakfast you can sit close and share stories. Whatever your routine, your child will anticipate this special time of having all your attention.
We have resources to support you. The easiest thing to do is to sign up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Registered children in Shawnee County will get a free book mailed directly to their home every month until their 5th birthday. You don’t even have to load up the car seat and the diaper bag to leave the house.
When you’re ready to get out of the house, the library is here for you. The Learn & Play Bus brings play time to your neighborhood. Families can come and go during the two-hour stops. We have storytimes mingled with a multitude of toys, art activities and our imaginations. Get on the floor and start playing. Meet up with a friend or make a new one.
Join Baby Bookworms (birth-18 months old) on Thursdays every week at the library to share interactive songs, stories and bounces. Your baby will love this wiggly, giggly time with you. There are also grownups. Grownups who like you accidentally put carrots in the silverware drawer out of sleep deprivation. You’re in good and empathetic company.
While cruising through the library take time to gaze at the aquarium, stock up on board books and picture books, or check out a book on games to play with your baby.
Bond with your bundle of joy every day with books, song and play.