I've tried to be more intentional about reading to Chip and giving him books to play with. I read to Susie quite a bit at his age, and sometimes he gets left out because Susie chooses longer stories that he can't always enjoy, or that he wants to grab and bite or tear. As you can imagine, Susie is not a fan of this! So here are my little tips about reading to a baby when he is your second child:
1. Read during 1 on 1 time. Chippy has time alone with me in the afternoon while Susie is still napping. That's when I give him books to play with and read him little board books where I let him turn the pages, or take it away from me altogether. It is book exploration, and it will lead to him learning how to turn pages, and enjoy the pictures on his own.
2. When you have together storytime, try to situate the baby like this -- have him sit by older children, maybe on a blanket, and give him a small book to hold, or maybe a toy to chew on. Then sit across from the children, and hold up the book facing them. Chip has caught on quickly to direct his attention to the pictures and turning pages, so we have enjoyed several medium length books like this. I wouldn't do our Winnie the Pooh collection just yet, but something with lots of big pictures and frequent page turns. He, at 9 months, is seeing that reading together is something we enjoy as a family. I include him in the questions and sound making (for example -- "can you make a kiss sound Chippy? Can you make a kiss sound Susie?"). Of course he doesn't answer but Susie does and I do it, and often he grins at us. He will join in before long. I don't want to just ignore him as if he's not sitting there reading with us.
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