How to find the time to read with your baby or child?

Last Updated on 4 May 2022 by Dr. Sandro Cantoni

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For many children, the day begins with school. They wake up early, get dressed, eat breakfast, and then head off to catch the bus. Once at school, they have a full day of classes, followed by homework and maybe a few extracurricular activities.

At the end of the day, they are tired and ready to relax in front of the television. However, dinner still needs to be made. For many parents, this is the time when they need their child to be a little quiet.

Watching cartoons can be the perfect way for them to unwind after a busy day. Not only will it give them a chance to rest, but it will also help them stay out of trouble. After all, we all need a little break after a long day.

Why don’t you read a book?

At this point, would you feel like asking your child the question: why don’t you read a good book?

As an avid reader, I know just how hard it can be to find the time and motivation to pick up a book. Between our increasingly busy lives and other forms of entertainment drawing our attention away from reading, it often feels like a struggle just to find the time to read.

For children especially, it can seem almost impossible, with long days at school followed by activities, homework, and extracurriculars that leave little room for downtime.

If we want our children to approach books and be fascinated by them, to have the energy and mental freshness to be interested in a story, then we need to create the conditions for that to happen. 

Here are a few tips. 

Create a reading routine. 

Let’s get your child used to shared reading and develop a routine around listening to stories, from the time he is young and spends more time at home with us (not just before bedtime).

A love of reading is one of the greatest gifts you can give a child. In addition to taking him to sports, dance class, or the grocery store, take the child to the library and bookstore, at least once or twice a month. At the library, he can choose from a wide variety of books, and at the bookstore, he can pick out a new book to bring home. Reading together is a great way to bonding and spend quality time together.

Carry a book with you at all times.

When you’re out and about with your child or baby, it’s easy to fall into the habit of looking at your phone to pass the time. But instead of entertaining yourself on your phone, why not pack a few good books? Not only will this help keep you focused and present, but it will also give your child or baby someone new and interesting to look at.

Plus, by carrying books with you rather than relying solely on your mobile device, you can ensure that your little one is getting quality reading time even in busy or unfamiliar environments. Whether you’re waiting at the post office or sitting in a waiting room at the doctor’s office, just whip out one of your beloved books and start reading. Trust me – your child is sure to thank you for enriching their day! 

Make sure that time is dedicated to reading at school. 

As any parent knows, children learn best when they are actively engaged in the learning process. One of the most effective ways to promote active learning is through reading. Reading aloud to children helps them to develop important language skills, and it also allows them to explore new ideas and concepts.

Unfortunately, many schools do not place a high priority on reading instruction. As a result, parents need to be proactive in ensuring that their children are getting adequate reading practice. A good way to start is by talking to the teacher of your child about the importance of reading.

Try to find out if regular time is devoted to reading stories in class. If not, you may want to consider volunteering to read aloud to the class yourself or organizing a group of parents to take turns reading.

Find out what your child likes and find books about that.

Provide books that respond to his interests. For example, if your child is passionate about dinosaurs, find books with lots of beautiful illustrations dedicated to them. 

When it comes to reading with my children, I am always looking for opportunities to talk about the books we are reading and deepen our understanding of the stories. Whether we are curled up on the couch or going through our normal daily routines, there is always something in a book that prompts a conversation.

For example, perhaps we’re on a walk and see a beautiful sunset, and I tell my kids how it reminds me of the story of the Phaeton myth. Or maybe they ask questions about how Noah built an ark large enough to fit all of those animals, and I can draw on my memory of the story from when I was young. No matter what happens throughout our day, these conversations help to build connections between us that go far beyond simple words on a page.

And whenever I find myself getting excited about a particular character or plot point in one of our favorite books, my kids get just as engrossed as I do. In other words, sharing your love for great stories with your kids is one of the best ways to spend time together, grow closer as a family, and learn more about each other’s interests and passions.

Place books all over the house and car.

There are many different ways for your child to get engaged with books. First and foremost, you should make sure that there are plenty of books available in a variety of genres and formats – including board books, and picture books – both at home and at school. Additionally, it is important to set a good example by engaging with books on a regular basis yourself.

You can also help build your child’s love of reading by encouraging him to read in many different settings. For instance, you can place some favorite books in or around his car seat so that he has easy access to them while traveling. You may also want to keep a stack of interesting children’s titles on the kitchen table or on top of a nearby chair, or in the bathroom so that your child has plenty of opportunities to leaf through them at his leisure.

Don’t force your child to read, leave them free.

It is easy to be judgmental when it comes to our children and reading. After all, we know that reading is an important skill that can benefit countless areas of their lives, so we naturally want to encourage them to pick up a book and dive in.

However, we must be careful not to judge our kids if they struggle or read poorly, or if they show little interest in the written word. Instead of trying to push them into reading a certain way or at a certain pace, we should leave them relaxed and free to explore books in whatever way feels right for them.

Maybe they need time to grow into their ability; maybe they prefer magazines or comic books over picture books; maybe they simply need more encouragement and support as they find their own path with reading.

Whatever the case may be, what matters most is that our kids feel comfortable embracing the act of reading on their own terms. So let’s not judge our offspring, but instead commit ourselves to build the kind of supportive environment that fosters a genuine love of literature.


It’s not easy to find time to read together after our constantly busy days. But remember that it is essential for your child’s development. With a little organization and dedication, you will certainly be able to find that little bit of time you need.