Most parents believe a child can only read a book once he starts schooling. If you are one of those parents and are wondering if reading to infants is of any importance, we have good news for you. Babies cannot read, but you can explain to them. This plays a critical role in the growth of the brain and thus giving them a good start towards lifetime love of reading.
Why read books to your child?
Reading to infants assists in language development because they take in the message and start to learn speech patterns. Babies listen to rhythm and beats of the familiar voices. Though you may think the simple songs you sing to her do not make sense, the child learns to through them and gets to understand what they mean. Even if the child does not understand, it does not mean you wait until she is three years to start reading to her. Here are other reasons why you should read aloud to the baby:
• It helps the child to learn about communication
• Informs the baby of the surrounding
• Introduces new concepts to the baby, for example, shapes, colors, letters, and numbers in an amusing way that helps them to keep remembering
• Cultivates good listening, vocabulary, and memory skills
Babies who are read to, learn almost all sounds by the time they are one year. The number of words your child is exposed to depends on how much you read to her. The baby can hear you use different tones as you read to her. This encourages both emotional and social development.
How to read to your baby
One of the challenges parents encounter, is how to read to the newborn. It is challenging to read and complete the book at once. You infant might want to be breastfed, chew the book, tear it and all sorts of things that feel relevant to her. All these actions play an essential role in helping her familiarize herself with books. Here is how you need to do it:
• Hold your baby close to you and use this time bond with the child beyond reading
• Name the pictures and read their names aloud as you point at them
• Do not rush to finish a book. Take it slow but ensure you capture the interest of your child as days go by.
• Read books that are appropriate to your baby’s age
There are over 30 baby’s books recommended for reading your little one. One thing you need to think about when choosing a book for your baby is if it is stress-free to hold and use. Buy a book that your child will hold as she learns to read like you.
Contrary to many beliefs, there is no right age for you to read to your baby. You can start reading and inspire her love for reading books from initial stages of her life. Remember to sing and express the book as you read. Songs act like magic when it comes to attracting attention.