Posted in Books & Reading, Tricks of the Trade, Tips & Hacks, Toddlers

Reading books

my 17 mo refuses to let me read to him. Once he sees a book he will look at it and try to tear at it or eat it and will not stay still for me to read. He will also take the book away and throw it! How can I get him to sit still so I can read to him

  • Amanda
    Mar 27

    My son is book obsessed. My nephew not so much. He wouldn't sit still for me to read and would try to take the book away. What I did was explain to him I was going to read the book. He didn't have to sit and listen. He would always initially start playing a few feet away then end up in my lap to read with us. Now he will bring me books to read to him. It took some time but he warmed up when it wasn't a mandatory thing and he could chose to be involved.

  • Anonymous
    Mar 27

    It’s always a phase! Just wait a week and try again.... no? Wait another week and try again. You’ll see these things usually don’t last longer than a month!

  • Joanna
    Mar 27

    We have lift the flap books and books with sound buttons. Those hold his attention for a few extra minutes. Does he have a favorite character? Maybe finding the right pictures is key. Mine doesn't care for the classics, like Good night moon, but will sit for Thomas the train.

  • Beatrice
    Mar 27

    Joanna Right now he is into farm animals I have a book with Elmo and some animals so far that’s the only book he will let me read

  • Erica
    Mar 27

    It’s not uncommon for a toddler that age to not want to sit and listen to a whole book consistently. I was told to think of it more as sharing a book with your toddler, sometimes that’s reading but other times it may be practicing turning pages or naming the pictures. If you want your routine to include more sitting to listen though it may be a matter of picking the right time of day, maybe before bed when he’s already a bit tired anyway

  • Laura
    Mar 27

    Our 2 year old has always been most receptive to books at bedtime. Other times, not really interested.

  • Nicole
    Mar 28

    My 16 month old will hand me books but not sit long before he’s changing out the books. Just have patience and try reading to him a little when he’s playing. I allow my son to get down from the chair to play but have also been reading to him off and on since he was a baby.

  • Karla
    Mar 28

    Look into something called active reading. Sitting still is boring, make reading time fun by acting out the pictures, talking in weird voices, or just describing the pictures. Let him take lead during reading time, it’s ok if you don’t read word for word. Reading time should just be about talking and the interaction between you and your child.

  • Anonymous
    Mar 28

    My son was the same. I tried for MONTHS! Finally I decided I would read out loud while he plays, one day out of nowhere he became interested in the book I was reading. I honestly think it helped that he started to become bored with his toys and started noticing the books and that I was getting new books from the library every week. He doesn’t always sit still while I read to him, he likes to turn the pages really fast, sometimes I can only get two words in per page but I know eventually he’ll learn that it’s a story and he’ll want to hear the whole thing. Perhaps try to put more books out than toys? I found that my son is easily distracted by new toys or things he can play with, I leave books all around my house, even the bathroom, he really can’t go anywhere without seeing a book so now he’ll stop and pick it up and look through the pages. At this point I’m just happy that he picks up a book and shows interest even if he’s just looking at the pictures and touching the touch and feel books.

  • Kristen
    Apr 01

    Some babies just aren’t into it. There other come a time they will be ready. My son is just now starting to like us reading to him and he turned 2 in January.

  • Stacey
    Apr 12

    If we are reading a story that is not interactive (lifting flaps or doing actions) we give our son a "distraction book". Usually a feel the things book that has things he can touch and play with while we read the actual book we picked to read.