7 - 8 Months

Babies learn from books with photographs

Baby and mother looking at a Lovevery book

Research shows that as early as 9 months of age, babies start to recognize objects they see in photographs. Books with realistic images have been shown to increase vocabulary and letter recognition more than books with fantastical illustrations.

Photos can help your baby form ideas about people, places, and things they may or may not see every day. For example, when your baby looks at an image of a real animal (versus an illustrated one that wears clothes and talks), they’re more likely to recognize that animal in other contexts and remember its name.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t introduce your baby to illustrated books. Variety is important and any and all reading is helpful. Just know that at this stage, your baby will benefit most from seeing books with real pictures.

How to make the most of books with photos

One of the best things you can do for your baby’s early literacy is to name and discuss what they see in books—even things that aren’t mentioned in the text. 

When possible, provide real-life versions of the objects depicted in your baby’s books to strengthen the connection between the two. For example, if you see a picture of a shoe in a book, take a break with your baby to go find a real shoe. When they see both a photo and the real thing, the connection becomes more clear to them.


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Posted in: 7 - 8 Months, 9 - 10 Months, 11 - 12 Months, Lovevery App, Literacy, Books, Cognitive Development, Reading, Child Development

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