The Importance of Story Time

Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on February 22, 2022

Month 11, Week 3


Reading to your baby aloud can do wonders for their developing language skills. It's one of the best ways to help them learn.

The more words they hear in a day, the better. If you haven't started already, make a habit of reading to your baby every day.

Good reading habits that start early will set the stage for them to learn new things down the road.

This a good time to:

  • Invest in hard board and bath books. They'll likely end up in your baby's mouth, but that's a good sign that they have taken an interest.
  • Choose books with a lot of color and simple objects decorating the pages.
  • Read books with photographs of faces and animals (especially those that show emotion) to capture your baby's attention.

Your Baby's Development This Week

If leaving your baby causes them to erupt into a fit of tears and desperate clinging, it's official: their separation anxiety has kicked into high gear.

That's to be expected at this stage. Separation anxiety tends to peak between 10 and 18 months.

With very little sense of time, your baby doesn't know that you're coming back. That will start to change as they get closer to the age of two.

Here's what you can expect at this stage:

  • Just stepping into the next room may cause your baby to cry.
  • It may be more difficult now to leave them with other people, including relatives or babysitters they have spent time with before.
  • Bedtime can trigger separation anxiety, making it more difficult to get your baby to sleep. Your baby may wake in the middle of the night to search you out.

Month 11, Week 3 Tips

  • At this stage, babies will find interest in books with words and phrases that rhyme and repeat. Ask them to join in with a "moo" for cow and a "bark" for dog.
  • Books that have texture, flaps that lift, and tabs that can be pulled will help keep your baby engaged while reading.
  • Make your own simple book at home. Fill it with pictures of family, friends, and other faces your baby will recognize.
  • Describe to your baby everything that's happening in the story. Point to pictures and name what you see.
  • Make up rhymes and songs that play with words. Include your baby's name for their delight.
  • Get your baby involved. Ask them: "What's that?" and "Where is the ...?" Give them a chance to respond.
  • Don't worry if they are more interested in the book itself than in hearing you read the story. They are still learning and spending quality time with you.

Show Sources


American Academy of Pediatrics: "Emotional and Social Development: 8 to 12 Months."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "How Do Infants Learn?"

American Academy of Pediatrics: "The Developmental Milestones of Early Literacy."

Reading Is "Tips for Reading Aloud with Babies."

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