The very best time to start reading to your baby is on the day he or she is born.
The gentle rhythm of a simple children’s story will be soothing for your new little person who has, after all, had a stressful day.
The fact that a newborn baby is capable of responding to books sometimes surprises parents but the evidence that reading to babies is important for their development is absolutely rock-solid.
You can read anything to a newborn baby – the book you’re reading, the newspaper … anything at all.
Your baby will respond to the rhythm of the words and the sound of your voice, rather than the words themselves.
He’ll be comforted by your voice and may even be lulled to sleep as you read, particularly if you’ve read to him before he was born.
OK, you can read anything you like but there are some lovely books for babies to chose from and they’re great fun to read.
If you're not sure where or how to start, I suggest you choose three books to begin with:
The most important things to remember when reading to your baby are:
You may find that reading to your baby gets a bit tricky around the age of about five or six months.
At this stage, many parents think reading to babies is a waste of time because their baby:
Pretty much all of us think this way but it's important to understand that this is perfectly normal behaviour and does not mean you should stop - or put off - reading to your baby.
By all means try to gently discourage too much chewing but do let your baby handle the books.
Here are six thing to try at this age:
Once your baby can crawl and then walk, keeping books accessible is important:
Something that worked really well in our house when my children were babies was having a book basket on the floor in the living room.
I'd change the books around every so often and the boys loved getting the books out on their own and sitting down to "read" them.
It really was very cute and I loved the fact that they were learning to love books.
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