Why read to babies?
There is a wealth of evidence to show that children can benefit from someone reading aloud to them:
- Books make a baby’s life more interesting and bring a variety to the way we communicate.
- Books enhance language development and develop a child’s imagination.
- Reading is fun and is a special bonding activity between a parent and child.
- Reading provides an easy way of talking to a child.
- Children that grow up in a book rich environment are more likely to associate reading with pleasure and to later become successful readers themselves.
What age should I start?
- A new baby will love being held and hearing your voice, so start as early as possible.
- By two months babies are able to distinguish patterns and respond to highly contrasting colours. This is the time to introduce bright, simple picture books.
- Once a child is able to sit unassisted allow them to handle books themselves.
- Most children go through a chewing and tearing phase.
- Allowing them to handle books at a young age will assist them to pass through this stage earlier.
When should I read?
- Make reading to your child part of your everyday routine.
- Bedtime stories provide not only a going-to-sleep routine, but promote security, comfort and love.
- Break up your day with stories. Read both inside and outside the house.
- Take a book along when you’re out. A story fills in the time while waiting and can calm a restless child.