Reading to your infant is a fundamental step in nurturing their literacy development and fostering a strong connection. As a dad, you have a unique opportunity to create cherished memories and lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning. In this article, we’ll share practical tips and valuable insights to enhance your reading sessions, alongside a list of the best books for babies.

The 3 proven benefits of reading to babies

In addition to the joy and bonding that reading brings, there are significant benefits for both dads and their children. These benefits can be summed up as the “3 A’s”:

  1. Attachment: When you read books to your child, you increase their literacy while creating a strong bond between the two of you. This connection forms the basis for a lifetime of trust and emotional closeness.
  2. Academics: Reading to your child from an early age increases their chances of success in academics. It builds a foundation for language development, vocabulary, and comprehension, setting the stage for future educational achievements.
  3. Ability: Children who are read to regularly tend to develop a higher level of initiative and self-esteem. They are more confident in expressing themselves and engaging with the world around them.

Facts: A study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine in December emphasized the positive impact of regular reading on infants as young as 9 months old. It highlighted that encouraging parents to read at least one book per day led to enhanced language development. 

How do you read to an infant?

1. Hold Your Baby Comfortably: To make reading an enjoyable experience for your infant, ensure they feel safe and cozy in your arms or on your lap. Support their head and neck to make them feel secure and engaged in the story.

2. Follow Your Baby’s Cues for “More” and “Stop”: Each baby is unique, and during storytime, it’s vital to observe your baby’s signals. Pay attention to your baby’s reactions. If they show signs of enjoying the story, continue. If they become fussy or lose interest, it’s time to stop or try a different activity.

3. Point at Pictures and Describe What You See: Babies are naturally drawn to colourful visuals. When reading to your infant, point at the pictures in the book and describe them using simple, repetitive language. Naming objects, animals, or characters in the illustrations not only captures their attention but also aids in early language development. 

4. Rock Your Baby and Sing Lullabies or Nursery Rhymes: Add soothing music by gently rocking your baby while singing lullabies or rhymes. This creates a calming and enjoyable reading experience.

5. Use Different Types of Baby Books: Keep things interesting by exploring various book types like board books, touch-and-feel books, or high-contrast illustrations to cater to your baby’s interests and development.

10 Best Books for Babies *

Introducing your infant to the world of books is a joyful journey filled with exploration and wonder. Here are some exceptional books for dads to read to their infants, each with its unique charm and educational value:

1. Where’s Spot by Eric Hill

2. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

3. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

4. Freight Train by Donald Crews

5. Hello, Baby Animals: A Durable High-Contrast Black-and-White Board Book For Newborns and Babies

6. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram

7. More, More Said the Baby by Vera Williams

8. Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins

9. Subway by Anastasia Suen and Karen Katz

10. Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek

*May contain affiliate links that pay Dad Central a small commision

Looking for more baby books?

Explore Canadian children’s books on the YouTube channel Bibliovideo. They regularly add new videos twice a week, so there’s always something exciting to watch. This channel is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts and is part of a collaborative effort by several organizations, including the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, to bring great stories to kids. 


Reading to your infant is a wonderful way to bond and stimulate their early literacy development. As a dad, you play a crucial role in creating a rich and rewarding reading experience that both you and your baby will cherish for years to come. So, grab a book and enjoy this joyful reading adventure with your little one.