As I’ve mentioned before, I love children’s books. I love the pictures, the words, the stories, everything. I want my baby to love books as well, so I hope that by reading to him I’m developing a sense of comfort and familiarness with books and words. It’s been studied that children who are read to early on in life, love books and have a bigger vocabulary.
Reading books is much different than talking. You may not realize it, but when you talk, you actually use many of the same words. While it’s important to talk to your baby just as you do anyone else and as you go about your business around the house, it’s also important to read books full of a wide range of vocabulary words. This allows children to hear different syllables and words. The first two years of life are critical for development and learning- the more words they hear, the better.
Reading to your baby benefits them by teaching them about communication, builds listening skills, allows them to hear your voice, and a wide range of words.
Find a time when your baby is happy and spend a few minutes reading with them. Even though they can’t understand what you’re saying, they’re still benefiting from hearing your voice, being in your arms, and hearing different words. They are learning. While children’s books with bright simple pictures are best for babies to look at, any book with words will provide benefits. I often read a few pages out of Food Fight while I rock my baby to sleep. (A great book about obesity in America, fast food, and nutrition in school’s.) He watches the way my mouth moves as I speak while he drifts off to sleep.
Don’t be discourage if your baby only wants to listen to a few minutes of reading. You’re increasing his attention span by reading to him, and eventually he’ll be asking for you to read all day long! Keep books around your house easily available for your child to look at, play with and put in his mouth. Reading is so important and it’s never too early to introduce the love of books!