Although your baby may not understand every word you say or follow the storyline of each book you share, it’s never too early to start reading to your child.
Reading to your baby is an excellent way to enhance the strong bond you share. Snuggling in your lap and listening to the familiar sound of your voice will bring comfort and relaxation to your child, a feeling you’ll both enjoy. In addition to strengthening your relationship, there are many other benefits and skills your child will develop when you read to him:
Vocabulary and Language Skills. When your child hears new words read aloud, she will add them to her vocabulary, building a bank of words to use when she is ready to start talking. You are also helping to build her phonological awareness skills when you expose her to rhythm, rhyme and the playful language found in the children’s books you read.
Listening and Focusing Skills. With each new book, you’re helping your baby hone his listening, focusing and concept development. These skills take practice, and your child’s attention span will grow with each month of reading out loud. While your infant may only engage with a story for 2-3 minutes, he will eventually begin to stay longer and longer in your lap with a good book.
New Concepts and Lessons. Children’s books are full of interesting concepts like animal noises, methods of transportation, the weather, shapes and colors. Reading to your child is an important way to teach about the world around them – never underestimate how much even the youngest of babies are learning!
A Lifelong Love of Literacy. By exposing your young child to concepts such as how to hold a book and turn the pages, you will make reading a familiar part of her life. When you take the time to read to your child, you foster an understanding that reading is an important and valuable activity, one that will bring a lifetime of joy and success.
4 Great Board Books to Enjoy With Your Baby:
- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
- This timeless classic is full of vocabulary words, patterns and rhymes. Its slow, calming tempo will help you and your child relax.
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
- Your child will learn about food, numbers and metamorphosis as the caterpillar eats his way through this colorful book. This book also encourages sensory exploration with holes the caterpillar has chewed through each page.
- Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
- Practice numbers and counting skills as the monkeys jump on the bed. The repetition also encourages early word memorization.
- Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton
- Your child will learn and practice animal sounds in this silly book!
Foster a love of literacy with more book recommendations and reading tips for young children on our blog.