Baby Steps: Read to Your Bunny

Read_to_Your_bunnyBabies learn language the way you and I learn new languages: by repetition. Talk to your baby and child! The more words they hear, the more they learn. Talk about what you’re doing, name the items that you see and use. When your baby babbles at you, respond to your baby. This is how they learn the back-and-forth of conversations. Skip the baby talk for real words.

Read to your baby everyday. There are board books and picture books galore. Point to items and name them. Talk about what’s going on in the picture.

Books also develop motor skills. Books like Pat the Bunny are meant to be touched. Learn to turn pages from the edges. Your baby and toddler can practice turning with cloth books and then magazines to protect that precious picture book you had growing up.

Singing songs and reciting nursery rhymes are excellent language builders. Rhyme and rhythm develop pre-reading skills and memory.

If your children’s songs and nursery rhymes are a bit rusty, check out your local library for virtual offerings.

It’s never too soon to get a library card so your family can enjoy unlimited resources. The pandemic has made things a little different, but libraries have modified their services for the pandemic.


About Lisa M. Asta, MD

Lisa M. Asta, M.D. is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, for which she is also a Media Representative (she has been interviewed for “Kids Health” on Health Radio, and quoted in Parenting Magazine, USA Today, and the New York Times, among other publications). She is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco and past pediatric chair at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. She graduated from Temple University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Asta is also a writer whose fiction has appeared in Inkwell, Philadelphia Stories, Schuylkill, and Zeniada. Her essays have appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Hippocrates, the San Jose Mercury News, and The New Physician Magazine. She is an occasional contributor to KQED public radio’s Perspectives series, and has written articles for Bay Area Parent, Valley Parent, Parents’ Press, and Parents Express, as well as online at,, and She wrote a chapter in The Field Guide to the Normal Newborn, ed. Gary Emmet, M.D. currently has two how-to videos for parents in production which feature Dr. Asta. For more on Dr. Asta’s writing, visit
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