Guest Blog written by Ali Gilbert


At my daughters 1 week appointment our doctor gave us a book to read to her. This is going to sound terrible, but I remember thinking, “Umm… she is 1 week old, she doesn’t even know how to blink let alone understand a book.” Since then, every milestone appointment we have taken her to she was given a new book. Even though I thought it was a bit silly, my husband and I did (and still do) read these books to her at bed time.

At my daughter’s 12 month appointment, along with a new book, I remember her doctor giving us some good tips about reading. She told us to read to her every day and to read the same few books to her for recognition. So we started reading a barn animal book that was textile – like fur on the chick, and a sponge for the pig’s nose. I was getting really sick of this book when I noticed that my daughter started picking that book up right away when we would sit down to rock. Then she started saying “woof, woof” when we would get to the puppy page. When we get to the page with the pig on it, the story says to “touch your nose to the pig’s nose” and after a while my daughter started doing it before I would even read it. I realized that she was recognizing the pages and understanding what we were reading to her!

Of course, I automatically thought she was simply brilliant. But once I came back from my “Mommy Cloud 9,” I realized that her doctor was correct. She recognized the book because we read it to her over and over again. She really learned from this book and I am excited to share with you that your child can too. Reading is so important for your child. There are a lot of ways you can read to your child even in your busy day, but the best time for us has been in the evenings. Every evening we have the same routine, and though that routine has changed a bit in the past two years, for the most part it is bath, book, rock for one lullaby song, bed. The “book” part of our routine is paying off because she is learning and recognizing.

I suggest reading to your child at least once a day. Watch how excited your child gets about reading once they find how fun it can be. Another fun way to read to your child is by taking him or her to the library. Every library in Chesapeake has a kid’s area where your child can play. While you are there, pick out a few books together to either read there or check out and take home.

Also, getting your child involved in a storytime library classes is a great way to get him or her excited about reading. My daughter loved her “Just One’s” (now called Wonderful Ones) storytime class. She loved dancing, singing and reading! Here are a few pictures of her at her fun class!

Ali Gilbert 1  Ali Gilbert 3  Ali Gilbert 2

Here are a few fun books that we love reading at our house and you might enjoy reading to your child as well:

Good night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings by Matthew Van Fleet
Five Little Monkeys by Eileen Christflow
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
Where is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz
Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton
Counting Kisses by Karen Katz

Have fun reading! 🙂

Ali Gilbert


Ali Gilbert is a blogger in the Hampton Roads area. Her blog is called Mom Explores Virginia Beach. She loves giving mommy tips, craft and DIY ideas and helping families find fun things to do with their children.

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3 thoughts on “Guest Blog: Reading to Your Child

  1. I read to my son every night from the time he was sleeping through the night (6 months?) until he was in 3rd grade. I believe that is the reason he learned how to read by the age of 4 and the reason he still loves to read. I routinely bring books home from the library. When he goes with his dad, to BJs or Sams, he makes a beeline to the books section to see what is new–and starts reading right there. The other benefit to reading with your child is you get to talk to each other; my son would tell me about his friends and school and who got in trouble. I learned alot about him from those talks and now that he is older, I miss that time we shared. (He still reads himself to sleep sometimes–he is his mother’s son!)

  2. Ali,
    Thank you from a friend, a teacher, a nurse and sister in Christ! I am in awe of your gifts. This child and the one to come are very blessed indeed to have a mommy like you! This message cannot be stressed enough. Today, so many children don’t know how to read, or like to read because they don’t see their parent’s or siblings doing it. Even if a parent doesn’t know how to read, this is the perfect way to learn, as your child/ren are learning. What a gift each parent can give…
    by only reading each day one book, one page, one something! Learn, grow, share and make our future better one word at a time.

    Love Ya!

    I read to Mahri (my daughter) each night and often during the day, she is intelligent and now studying to be an educator too!

  3. I am going to be a mom soon. I will be having my baby the following month. I am a voracious reader and would love the imbibe the habit into my baby/kid. I want to get some of these books that you have listed so i can begin to read soon. May be my baby will not understand but his diction and vocab will be great when he gets into school. can you let me know where i can get these books for a lower price than the market one.
    thank you , vishaka

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