It’s never too early to read to a newborn. Many experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), cannot emphasize enough on the importance of reading “beginning in infancy.” AAP adds reading aloud to newborns encourages word learning, literacy and positive family relationships.
Even though what you’re saying isn’t making sense to your little one, hearing your voice and talking to your baby helps him develop listening skills and familiarizes him with words. “Kids whose parents frequently talk/read to them know more words by age 2 than children who have not been read to. And kids who are read to during their early years are more likely to learn to read at the right time,” says KidsHealth.
It’s not just the words that help either. The vact of reading aloud–using different emotions and expressive sounds–fosters social and emotional development. All of his senses are at play as well as he sees, touches and even bites the book, which is absolutely normal and developmentally appropriate, says Dr. Pamela High, lead author of the policy statement on reading recommendations for children from the AAP.
And, no matter what age, reading together will always be a great opportunity to bond with your baby. By reading often, he will grow up associating books with happiness. Plus, you’re also showing that you value books and learning. It’s a great start if you want to raise a reader.
Reading books to infants is not the same as storytime with a toddler or preschooler, however. Here are some tips to remember when reading aloud to your baby:
1. Infants aren’t picky.
What matters during the first few months is your voice. Your baby just likes to hear you talking to him. Read to him anything from rhyming children’s books, the latest issue of your favorite magazine or the current book you’re reading.
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