Jul 26 , 2021
Although babies cannot grasp the sound of letters or alphabets, it is never too soon to introduce your baby to the world of books.
A pediatrician Sarah Klein, MD, says, “Reading to babies and young children is so important. It provides the building blocks for language. And it gives them the tools for forming lifelong social and emotional skills.”
Are you worried that you may have to squeeze one more thing into your already hectic schedule? Don’t you worry! Reading to your child every day may seem daunting at first, but once you form a habit out of it, it will not be as time-consuming or complicated as you think it is.
Adding books to your own routine and your baby’s routine hosts several benefits for you both.
Reading a book to your baby is a one-on-one activity that can turn into an extremely special time spent with your baby. It exposes the baby to your body warmth as the kid is attached to you while you read. Moreover, they get to listen to your voice which is soothing for them. A recent study in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics found out that reading to babies in the NICU induces feelings of intimacy in the parents of healthy newborns.
All human beings perform their optimum when following a routine. The same goes for children. Dr. Klein says kids thrive on routine. Reading can be a great addition to a daily schedule. If you get into the habit of reading to your child daily at bedtime, it can enact as a signal to the baby as if it is time to slow down and prepare themselves for sleep. Thus, try to form a routine where you change them, dim the lights, and pick up a book to help them identify when it’s time to sleep. Honestly, anything that makes bedtime easier is worth the extra time and effort.
- Effective communication
Reading aloud teaches your baby communication. It introduces numbers, letters, colors, and shapes, all in a fun way. It helps them build listening and vocabulary skills and memory. When it’s time for their first birthday, they have learned all the sounds they need to navigate around in their native language. The more you read to them, the more words they will hear and the better they’ll be able to talk. Hearing words build a rich network of vocabulary in a baby’s brain. Kids whose parents read to them more often know more words by the age of 2 than children whose parents don’t read to them.
Reading to children also helps them build the habit of reading later in life, which is an important life skill.
Your baby hears multiple different emotions and expressive sounds, when you read to them. This helps them become more emotionally mature, detect different tones in people’s voices, and allows them to associate the tone with different moods. It supports social development too.
Reading also encourages your baby to look, point, touch, question, or answer questions. This helps with thinking skills. Your baby becomes curious and asks more questions, and as a result, acquires more knowledge. The baby improves language skills by mimicking sounds, recognizing pictures, and learning words.
Reading to your child everyday may seem like a lot of work at first but as time progresses, you will realize how the benefits of it make the effort seem worth it.
Dr. Sharon Fried Buchalter Ph.D., is a distinguished clinical psychologist, life coach, and public speaker who has worked as a Marriage and Family Therapist and clinical social worker. She received the highest accreditation as a board-certified diplomate-fellow in advanced child and adolescent psychology. She has spent her lifetime educating, enlightening and empowering parents and children of all ages.
She has developed revolutionary tools to help couples, parents, and families achieve happiness and success. Her first book Children Are People Too, provides eight essential steps designed to strengthen families and empower parents to be their own child's life coach and mentor. Her second book New Parents Are People Too, provides relationship advice for couples entering parenthood for the first time.
She is also the founder and owner of Products On The Go and Little Toes.