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Just like there is a variety of clothes and toys which keeps on changing with the age group of kids (and trends), we need to keep on buying and changing books as well according to the age group of kids. Generally, when kids grow up a little we introduce them to the world of books in terms of basic learning books, colouring books and storybooks. But just like we need toys and books for infants, books should also be introduced at the earliest stage of life, not just to inculcate habit but for the better mental and physical development of the child.
I am a bookworm at heart and I have always thought that my kids would be the same. Books are one’s best friend for life and as soon as baby V was born, I wanted to gift her the same friendship. But when Baby V didn’t show much interest in storybooks, then I became a little worried. Then after lots of research, I got her a stash of these cloth books which work as sensory toys as well.
Cloth books are soft, so they are quite safe and cuddly, as they don’t have any sharp corners. So we can easily let babies explore them without any worry. Plus, bright images in bold, contrasting colours and exciting textures encourage them to reach out and play. They’re easy to clean and super light, so it is very easy to carry them anywhere- even in the bathtubs! Initially, my baby used to grab and hold books, but only to mouth, chew, and drop them. While I didn’t want to encourage chewing on books, but by putting them in her mouth, the baby is learning about them, finding out how books feel and taste — and discovering that they’re not edible!
Now after only a few weeks, she has started opening it and turning pages as well. And though she still mouths them, she has started sitting to read together as well. Though she is still not big enough to be able to follow a story, she still gets a lot of enjoyment and stimulation from books. One can also look out for books with mirrored pages in which your baby can see his own reflection, or make different pitched noises to add to the fun and make this even more interesting.
Cloth books are great for babies of this age, as the books can stand being handled roughly (and chewed!), and many of them double up as sensory toys with features such as textured fabrics and inbuilt bells and rattles. Also, you don’t need to have a huge variety or collection as only a few will do well with constant rotation. Currently, we have 4 books – Snuggle Baby by Ladybird, Forberesten Cloth Book and I Dream 2 pieces Cloth Book which are great buys for little babies as they are really colorful and make a crinkle sound which intrigues my baby girl a lot. Soon we will be moving towards different board books. Till then happy reading and happy parenting!