Reading to your baby gives him a good start on the road to a larger vocabulary, many new ideas and success in school and in later life.
Research on reading tells us that children who regularly see their parents read, will want to imitate them, and will want to read. They will view reading as fun. When books, magazines, or newspapers are available around the home, and children are encouraged to spend time with their parents sharing print material, they will see reading as part of everyday life.
Even from infancy, babies can enjoy the rhyme and rhythm of reading. Reading with your baby, gives you time to develop closeness, and to share special times together.
You may wonder why you would want to read to a baby, when the baby just wants to put the book in his mouth, and doesn’t understand the words you are reading. Choose books with animal pictures, and you can say the animal name and emphasize the sound the animal makes. Babies love to hear a variety of sounds. When you share the same book over and over, from a very early age, your child will start to make the sounds, and eventually will say the words in the book.
It is never too early to introduce books. Even by chewing on them, and only looking at a couple of pages, babies will begin to understand that books can be special, mainly because they will enjoy the experience of sharing a book, and special time with their parents.
Library story times for babies provide wonderful opportunities for you to share stories, rhymes and books with your baby.
What are the Best Books?
- Simple books with a few pages are a good place to start. Board books are easy for babies to hold and are more durable, when they go into your baby’s mouth.
- Books that tell stories about things that are familiar to babies will help them learn the words that they will need to express themselves. Books that talk about bath time, bed time (e.g. Good Night Moon). Books about daily routines, like dressing, and playing in the park are fun for young children, because these talk about things they experience every day.
- You can be creative and make your own books, using family photos or different pieces of paper or fabric. There is no end to how much fun you can have with books.
- Create a book from pictures of your baby and tell their story every day. Your baby will one day learn to use the book themselves to tell about their life and family.
- Choose books that you enjoy reading, because your baby will want to look at the same book over and over again. That’s how they will learn.
- Remember, that one of the most important things about sharing books with your baby is the closeness and the relationship that is part of sharing a book.