At 8ish months old, we went through a tiny boycott for naps with my oldest child. I was shocked and scared and NEEDED her to nap — big time. Luckily I read this fantastic nugget of information that suggested putting board books in the crib. Sure enough, it worked. She would look at them for a few minutes, lay down for her nap, and even wake up after the nap and “read” some more. Truly a miracle! A real game changer.
Fast forward to that little baby getting closer and closer to two. The bookshelf turned into a war zone. Fancy Nancy was no longer fancy... Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see... he sees nothing because he is in 17 pieces. Don’t even get me started on the pop up books.
We love books in our family! So why does she do it?
All the talks in the world didn’t make a difference. At two, she seemed like she was comprehending, but then I would find a pile of pages only moments later. I would fix them in front of her and show her how sad it was to make mommy and daddy (we made VERY sad faces). I had grandma FaceTime to tell her how important books are and how we should treat them. Nothing was sticking. She nodded and agreed and would recite “no rip boooks,” but even still...many stories lost their pages at the hands of our two-year-old.
But then...one day. She never did it again. It was like she got it all out of her system. It was over! I could finally put away the clear packing tape. Woo hoo!! She decided on her own that she didn’t want to do that anymore. Until little sister started approaching the age of two…
She, too, is a BOOK RIPPER!
To the public library, we went! Miss Nancy, the librarian, sat down with our girls (3.5, almost 2, and 3 months... but honestly, the baby wasn’t really paying attention) and talked to them about loving books and how to treat them. She told them how we share books, and if the pages are torn, other boys and girls can’t enjoy these stories. They listened and nodded, and my oldest would make sure that her sisters were paying attention (the baby was asleep at this point).
We checked out 11 books, went home, and for two weeks in a row, not one single page was torn! We continuously talk about “Miss Nancy the Li-berry-in” and how she would want us to treat books. We have told everyone we know about visiting her and what she had to say. This seemed to make the page tearing stop! She’s cured!
So for every parent out there struggling with this baby issue, I have a few tips:
- Start with board books! Sturdy pages, easy to turn while they develop this skill.
- Don’t leave books on the floor! Encourage your child to bring them back to the bookshelf. Open books on the floor are easy targets for pages getting stepped on and then torn.
- Go to the library often! Yes, it is hectic when we are there, but your local library staff will be helpful and happy that you brought your kids! I let them grab a few books off the shelves to check out.
- Read read read. Point out signs, read boxes at the grocery store, stop, and show them recognizable symbols. Make it a game to spot out letters, words, and even logos.
- And finally, buy more than one roll of clear tape. It goes fast!
Head of Customer Care