Question: Did you read the title of this post and think it was a typo? Did you wonder how on earth it is possible to do storytimes for kids that little?
Answer: Actually, libraries do baby stor times all the time. (Sometimes they're called lapsit programs.) Personally, they're one of my very favorite things to do as a children's librarian. No matter what you do, the babies never complain.
Here's some commonly asked things you may be wondering right about now...
Question: What do you do in a baby storytime?
Answer: Lots of things, including songs, nursery rhymes, tickles, bounces and lullabies.
Question: Do you read books?
Answer: Yes, but usually only one or two (as opposed to three or four books in a preschool story time). If books are used, they're typically very short or they're sung aloud.
Question: How old does the baby have to be?
Answer: Ask your librarian.... but the answer is almost always that there's no age limit. Newborns are fine.
Question: What if I bring my baby and they take a nap through the whole program?
Answer: Let them sleep. Baby storytimes are as much for the adults as they are for the kids. Children's librarians are great at offering tips, teaching songs and making recommendations to help adults use books and songs with babies.
Question: What if I'm exhausted and haven't gotten out of the house for a week?
Answer: Then baby storytimes are the perfect place to go... because all the other adults are just as tired and worn out as you are. It's a great place to meet other parents and caregivers experiencing the same things. Plus, it's nice to have a reason to get out of the house.
Question: Does my local library have a storytime for babies and toddlers?
Answer: Find out! Check their website and call or e-mail the children's department. Better yet, stop by... there's almost always a story time schedule flier available.
Question: How much do these programs cost?
Answer: You get a trained librarian familiar with child development and early literacy skills, plus a thoughtfully planned, fun and educational program for the low, low, low price of: nothing. Library story times are always free.
Question: Have you ever been to a story time designed for babies? Did you and your baby enjoy it?
Answer: I'd love to hear all about it! Please leave a comment.