The benefits of reading to a child are immeasurable. It aids in language and cognitive development, and an early interest in reading can foster a lifelong interest in learning. So, when is the best time to begin to read to your child? Start while he’s still in the womb.
Research shows that reading to your baby in the womb has benefits for both mother and baby. For mommy, it helps you to slow down, relax and enjoy this sweet experience. The sound of mommy’s voice is soothing, and bonding can begin prenatally. If baby has an older sibling, it’s a great way to include her in caring for baby, reading a favorite story and bestowing pride as the big sister. Of course, get daddy in on the fun, too, and baby will begin to recognize the voices of each family member.
Stories with rhythmic flows like those by Dr. Seuss or classic nursery rhymes are like music to baby’s ears. Your baby will hear the tone and tempo of your voice which is more important than the actual enunciation of each word. No matter what you choose to read, your baby is listening, learning, developing and soaking it all in.
Boosting Your Child’s Brain Power
Studies have shown that the more words baby is exposed to, the better prepared he will be to begin reading on his own. There is also research suggesting that newborns who were read to develop a larger vocabulary compared to other children of the same age. Your baby will begin to recognize colors, shapes, numbers and letters. Through your voice, he will be exposed to feelings and emotions as you take on the roles of the book’s characters. He will begin to understand that words have meanings and that certain sounds mean certain things.
Reading to your child is one of the most enjoyable experiences you can share. The bonding and snuggling are precious. When reading is a regular family activity, your child will view it as pleasant experience, fostering a love of reading.
Read early and read often.
Below are links to articles with best book recommendations for reading to your baby.