It comes as no surprise to many parents that reading TO your child in the early years (even as babies!) has a tremendous impact on a child’s ability to catch onto reading later on.
I used to think the main benefit was that your baby begins to pick up on reading cadence, which helps them read along in class with inflection. This is a goal of beginner readers in Kindergarten and First Grade, so that makes perfect sense to me.
What I didn’t realize was that I was WAYYYYY oversimplifying the impact of reading aloud to your baby.
Benefits of Reading to Babies: It Goes Deeper Than That
There are so many more benefits that I never considered before, such as some books are especially enjoyable and I can hear my favorite ones again and again….and then there’s this one:
Source: National Association for the Education of Young Children
Wow! **cue tears of the memories of holding my babies!!*
I never thought of it this way.
Obviously, babies FEEL LOVED when you hold them. If you have a book in your hand and speak to them while you’re holding them? They will associate books with being loved! DUH!
So today let’s appreciate all the ways that you are pouring into your baby’s future by holding them tightly and reading to him or her. Our babies might not understand all the words, but they will begin to understand the true meaning of reading.
Tips for Reading with Babies
If you are nervous about what kinds of books you should read your baby or how to get into a routine of doing so, I’d like to share how WE as a family personally approached reading to our little ones.
First, it started with the chair. I LOVE sitting in comfy chairs and my babies loved to be rocked, so of course I needed a comfortable rocking chair! We had one very similar to this and I LOVED it more than anything >> Gentle Swivel Plush Armchair
I would keep a stack of books in the nursery and each night when I was rocking my babies to sleep, I would grab one that we hadn’t read in a while and read it to them in a soft voice with the lights down low.
Our favorite baby books for the nightly bedtime reading ritual:
I didn’t use any interactive books this time of day (the last thing you want to do is stimulate a baby right before bed!), so the books we chose were always story based and not the “touch and feel” kind.
- Goodnight Moon
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Guess How Much I Love You?
- I Love You to the Moon and Back
- Love You Forever (warning: you will CRY every time you read this book! I have a love/hate relationship with it.)
It was as simple as that – I just a set time I liked to read to my babies. I liked bedtime and naptime to feel different for them so I would usually just sing lullabies for afternoon nap. 🙂
What will you do for your reading ritual?
Continue Reading >> 13 Things Babies Learn When We Read to Them