-- A --
American Sign Language
Auditory Oral/Auditory Verbal
-- B --
Brain Development
Burns, Prevention of
-- C --
Car Seat Safety
Child Abuse and Neglect
Child and Teen Checkups (C & TC)
Child Care
Child Development
Child Find
Childhood Stress
Choosing a Doctor
Cochlear implants
Cognitive Development
Community Resources
Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)
Consideration, Learning
Cued Speech
-- D --
Development Delay
Dog Bites
-- E --
Ear infections and early learning
Early Childhood Family Education
Early Childhood Special Education
Early Head Start
Early Math
Expectations for hearing aid usage
-- F --
Fall prevention
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Furniture tipover prevention
Fussy Eaters
-- G --
-- H --
Hearing aids
Hearing loss and early brain development
Hearing loss: your child and school
Home Safety
-- I --
In and around cars
Interagency Early Intervention Committees
-- L --
Lead Poisoning
Learning loss: parent support for learning language
-- M --
Mild hearing loss
Military Families
Minnesota Children with Special Health Needs (MCSHN)
Motor Development
-- N --
Never leave a child alone in a vehicle
-- O --
Oral Health
Overview of communication choices
-- P --
Parenting Education Classes
Pedestrian safety
Permanent hearing loss
Playground Safety
Poisoning, Preventing
Preparing for Siblings
-- R --
Reading Aloud
Recreational water safety
Ride on Toys - Tricycle Helmets
-- S --
Second Hand Smoke
Stress and Your Child (see Childhood Stress)
-- T --
Talking to Your Child
Teaching Responsibility
Temper Tantrums
Toilet Training
Toy Safety
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Tricycles/toddler helmets
-- U --
Unilateral hearing loss
-- W --
Water Safety
Webinars for Parents (library)

Reading Aloud (Reading to your Baby)

By Eileen Nelson, M.A.
Early Childhood Specialist
Minnesota Department of Education


Reading to your toddler is not only fun but an investment in your toddler's healthy development. Both you and your toddler experience important benefits from a regular reading time together.


Reading together gives you insight into your child's developing interests. Is your toddler excited by books about trucks or bunnies or both? Does she want to name everything in the picture?


Enjoy time together with a book so your toddler is excited by books. This is solid preparation for a lifetime of reading.

Ensure that television isn't monopolizing your toddler's time. Your toddler needs plenty of time to be physically active and to spend time enjoying books.

Tips for Reading with Your Toddler

Read together everyday. If you read to your toddler when he or she was an infant, a regular schedule will help your toddler anticipate your time together and enjoy the experience.


Share your lap or snuggle close with your toddler while you read. This helps to make reading a pleasurable and fun experience for both you and your child.


Your toddler is no longer a baby. Expect to see a need for independence alternate with a need for security. Support this development by offering several books as choices but be prepared to read the same book over and over again. Toddlers love repetition.


Action is often a toddler's middle name. This can make reading together a little harder but don't be discouraged. Choose times to read when your toddler is relaxed, in the evening and before or after a nap. Also seize brief moments to explore a few pages when waiting at the doctor's office or at a restaurant. This can also be a good time to introduce a new book in order to capture your toddler's attention. Toddlers also may prefer to stand sometimes when sharing a book.


Go beyond the story in the book. Point to the pictures and name the animals, colors and plants. If there are monkeys in the pictures count them together, showing the quantity with your fingers. Pointing things out, asking questions and talking about what happens in a story is an important way to improve your toddler's vocabulary.


Select some nonfiction books to share with your toddler. Books with colorful nature photographs, people in action or new places can teach a toddler a lot about the world.


Visit your library together. Find out if the library offers toddler story hour or has recommended titles. Introduce your toddler to the library as a lifelong resource.


  • Campbell, R. (2001). Learning From Interactive Story Readings. Early Years, vol. 21, no. 2
  • Frosch, C.A., Cox, M.J. & Goldman, B.D. (2001). Infant-Parent Attachment and Parental and Child Behavior During Parent-Toddler Storybook Interaction. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, vol. 47, 445-474.
  • Simcock, Gabrielle and Judy DeLoache (2006). "Get the Picture? The Effects of Iconicity on Toddlers' Reenactment from Picture Books," Developmental Psychology, vol. 42, no. 6.

Related Information

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