By now, your baby may be very familiar with books and regular reading routines. Your baby is also moving into toddlerhood and demonstrating more independence and curiosity. Take advantage of this curiosity and surround your baby with a variety of books. Make books available throughout your house and in places your baby can safely reach. Literacy, or understanding language, reading and writing, will develop later for your child. 


Early literacy skills include familiarity and interest in books, looking at pictures or understanding stories in books, and reading behaviors (imitating reading by making sounds, turning pages, pointing to pictures and saying words, etc.). Help your baby experience these early literacy skills by creating lots of opportunities for her to interact with books and reading.   


Brain Science for Your Baby


Your toddler is smarter than you know.  And smarter than scientists thought!  We know that toddlers imitate what they see "live".  But toddlers are learning and remembering what they see in books too.  A recent study (Brito, 2012) found that 18 and 24 month old toddlers who saw a researcher demonstrating how to make a three-step toy rattle via a picture book could imitate that - not only immediately - but weeks later!  An 18 month old could remember for 2 weeks; a 24 month old could remember for at least a month.  So your curious toddler is listening, imitating, watching, and remembering what he sees in books!


Tips for reading to your toddler

A Baby Buffer Prescription for Your Baby
Surround your baby with books! Create an environment that promotes interacting with books and reading. Make books available throughout your home.

Create "mini libraries" in rooms throughout your house that you and your baby spend lots of time (bedrooms, living room, play room).


Keep books in small bins, baskets, or bookshelves that your baby can safely reach. Make sure your baby knows it is OK to get books out of these containers. 


Every couple months switch around the books between your "mini libraries" so that you are reading different books or baby can look at different books.


A baby Buffer Prescription for You       


As you look back on your baby's first year, don't forget to celebrate your own accomplishments. It's important to reflect back on the things that went well and applaud yourself for taking such great care of your baby. Like baby meets many milestones during this first year, you also face many challenges and make lots of adjustments during this first year. Whether you celebrate on your own or with your Baby Buffer team, take time to congratulate yourself on a year well done!


Write down your top ten best moments interacting with your child. Put this in her baby book for a keepsake.


Take time to set goals for the next 6-12 months...revisit these goals when it's time to celebrate two years!    

What Your Baby Can Do - Developmental Milestones 


Your one year old will be able to imitate what you do in his or her play!  Give her a dust rag and let her dust furniture, pots and pans with a spoon so that he or she can "cook", and your baby will be able to start practicing brushing teeth and doing other self care activities.  

Gene's Research Tip
Two articles that we look at this week show that kids who grow up with consistent rules and healthy habits do better in school, and are less likely to have sex at an early age.  It is never too early to start encouraging healthy habits like eating fruits and vegetables, exercise and getting plenty of sleep!  
Baby Buffer Blog
Kristie Clark, MD, FAAP


As a new Mom of toddlers, I would get frustrated when I tried to get them to do a "Time-Out".  How do you get a 3 year old to stay seated for 3 seconds, much less 3 minutes?


Have you ever seen a 9 month old baby remove Grandma's glasses or pull their Mom's hair?  Babies as young as 9 months can exhibit defiance, and need some gentle discipline.  Babies younger than 9 months really are not capable of being naughty and do not need discipline. When young babies cry, it is for a reason. Usually, babies that cry have a need to be met.  Either they are hungry, wet, dirty, cold, too warm, sick, in pain, scared, over-stimulated, tired or colicky. It is up to us as parents to get to know our baby's non-verbal communication cues so that we can meet their needs.  Never ever hit or shake a baby!


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