It is a common misconception that because a baby cannot yet speak, and cannot understand what you are saying or reading to them, that a baby doesn’t need to be read to until they have a better understanding of language. In fact, it’s just the opposite! Reading to your baby is what is going to help them grasp their native language.
Another reason I have found many people choose not to read to their baby is because the baby seems more interested in grabbing the book, or trying to put the book in their mouth. This is perceived by parents to be a sign of disinterest. This is not true. When your baby gets to the stage of grabbing and putting EVERYTHING in their mouth you should let them play with the book for a few minutes before reading to them, and then when you begin to read, hold the book just out of grasp. This way baby will focus on the pictures and sounds. When you have finished reading the page, let baby touch it. Babies learn through all of their senses, so letting them touch and chew is still a great learning experience for them!
It may feel a little strange at first, reading to a person who doesn’t respond as you’re used to. However, reading to your baby from the beginning can help give them a great start, and a leg up. Here are 5 great reasons to read to your baby:
1. If you don’t read to your baby from a very young age, by the time you do start reading to them it will be very difficult to get them interested. The earlier you start the more likely it is that your baby will have a positive relationship with reading that will last throughout life.
2. It has been found that “Kids whose parents frequently talk/read to them know more words by age 2 than children who have not been read to. And kids who are read to during their early years are more likely to learn to read at the right time.” – Kelly Meyer, DO
3. Reading to your baby exposes them to the sounds they need to learn to be able to speak (they should have all the sounds necessary by age one). The more exposure they have to the language the better they will be able to speak.
4. Fostering social and emotional development in children is very important. When babies are read to they hear the emotions in your voice along with the many expressive sounds we hear in some of our favorite children’s books.
5. When you take the time to read to your baby/children it shows them that reading is something to be valued. You are teaching them that it is an important skill, and one that should be appreciated. When you are excited and joyful about reading, and you make reading time a time of closeness for you and your child, they will associate reading with happiness and positivity.
Here are a few books that are great for babies!
Read to Me Baby PC: http://www.bookshopsantacruz.com/read-me-baby-tee-onesie