Reading to Your Infant Teaches Communication, Language
You may think that a tiny baby is too young for you to read a book to, but there are actually some very good benefits that can come from you doing exactly that! Reading promotes everything from bonding with the child’s parents to helping baby to learn how to talk, listen and more.
Reading promotes everything from bonding with the child’s parents to helping babies to learn how to talk, lulling them to sleep, and much more. These days, experts recommend beginning to read to your child from the first day you bring him home, and some even think it is a good idea to read to the baby while you are still pregnant.
Benefits of Reading to Babies
Reading to newborns helps to promote the bonding process between a child and his parents. You should pick a time to do it every day, such as at bedtime and start a ritual your child will grow to expect and enjoy. Even a tiny baby can notice things like the different inflections in your voice, and will enjoy hearing mom or dad softly read a bedtime story.
The more you read to your baby, the more words and phrases they will start to understand. Studies have shown that babies whose parents read to them from the start are able to talk better and know more words by the time they are two years old, as well as they learn how to read much earlier than their peers.
They learn how to recognize different emotions, as well as can learn things like colors, letters and be able to recognize the items they start seeing in the books as they get a little older. It is good to get books that invite participation like the ones that have sections for the baby to touch, see things pop up, etc.
They also learn more about how to communicate, how to understand other people’s feelings, and it enriches their capacity to remember things and know what items are before they even see them in person.
Reading to Baby Teaches Baby to Experience Different Things
Young babies don’t exactly know what the book or the pictures in it are, but they do notice things like faces, patterns, and changes in the bright colors that are in the books.
As the baby gets old enough to start really paying attention, you can use the hard board style of baby books that he can touch, mouth, pat and look at while mom or dad reads them and points to the things in the story.
Reading to your baby also teaches them that reading itself is enjoyable, and this will reap benefits for your child when they start in school. They will be more prepared for school, and they will learn to love books, and are less likely to think they are boring or worthless.
How to Read to a Newborn Baby
So, you understand why reading to a baby is vital, but how do you go about doing it? What is the best way to start off reading to a newborn?
First, since little babies don’t have much of an attention span, you should start by reading for about 10 or 15 minutes once a day. Then, as the baby is able to see better at about five or six months old, you can start to read longer and get him or her more involved by showing them the book and letting them touch it, etc.
You can also bring along baby’ favorite books and read them at the store while you are in line, or if you are waiting in the pediatrician’s office or riding in the car (if you aren’t the one driving) and other opportunities.
Older Babies Start to Enjoy the Reading Time More
As the baby gets closer to a year old, they are likely to really be watching and paying attention, and that’s when you can start letting them turn pages, or they may even recognize familiar things in the pictures like a bottle, pet, or favorite toy. They usually like you to read the books over and over and learn to anticipate the parts they like best.
You can start to ask him things about the book, like, “Show mommy the doggie, where’s the doggie?” Or teach him things like shapes or colors by pointing to them and saying things like, “Here is a blue circle. Isn’t that a nice blue circle?”
As the child gets older, you can do things like take them to the library to pick out the books they like the most. This also encourages a child to learn to use faculties like the library and opens up the world of reading to them even more.
All in all, reading to a baby is a vital thing that parents can do for their child in order to teach them everything from language skills to emotional skills. Reading is a beautiful thing and opens up a whole new world for you and your child to explore together.