Do you read to your baby?
I have lost count of the number of parents that look at me incredulously when I ask if they have started reading to their baby. “Read? Now?”
These are two of the most common words out of parent’s mouth. Talking to your baby as you go about your day-day activities all help to develop your baby’s language skills. Whether it’s pegging clothes on the line or nappy changes, preparing food, singing along to a song – it adds to the amount of words your baby is hearing. They also watch your facial expressions as you form the words taking these cues in.
What about when we read?
The results for your baby’s development in literacy, numeracy and brain growth etc. is truly wonderful.
Need more convincing?
The bonding and nurturing of your relationship that takes place between the two of you is equally important!
Think of the amount of learning your baby will do in the next 12 months – it never ceases to amaze us! From starting out in life as a totally dependent being, for all life’s necessities including food, shelter, warmth and love. Next minute they are learning to walk, babbling (a few words “da-da”, “ma –ma”, etc.), making sounds and gestures when they want/need something, feeding themselves finger food and one day they will be adults (let’s not think about that right now though shall we!).
Babies are born to learn and it’s you, their parents who are guiding them from the very start. The Calming Companion strongly believe in reading to your baby. Reading has a lot to do with helping your baby develop in the future into well-rounded adults in particular their social, emotional and mental health.
What else can reading do for my baby?
Reading or storytelling is a lovely way to spend some one on one time and wind down after a busy day. You will have to look at your baby’s cues as to whether “now” is a good time to read – when your baby is not interested they will certainly show you!
Don’t be disheartened; keep trying at different times of the day, different books, and different voices – even another language! Your baby loves listening to your voice whether it’s in speech or singing – the rhythm and rhyme that comes when we read children’s books or sing nursery rhymes or point to pictures in a book all add to your interaction with your baby – you will see their enjoyment.
Looking for some inspiration? Watch this video and see the enjoyment that both father and son are getting from reading a book together – it is priceless!
So try building reading into your child’s bed time routine and you’ll find it is easier to make it become a habit.
Cuddling and reading to your baby before you put them into bed is a lovely way to “signal” sleep is coming.