Reading to a Newborn: When to Begin and What to Start With?
Yes, newborns don’t understand all the words you use, what you say or what you do. But despite this, doctors believe that reading to a newborn can go a long way! Moreover, reading to your baby every day helps with mental development as their brain takes in something new every day. In this article, we focus on the benefits of reading to a newborn, when to start and what to begin with.
Benefits of Reading to a Newborn
Reading to children helps in:
- Learning new concepts like numbers, animals, fruits, vegetables, objects, shapes, places, colors, etc.;
- Helps in memory building;
- Helps in vocabulary building;
- Aids in cognitive development;
- Aids in emotional development as they learn new feelings and emotions which they associate words;
It is said that children have the tendencies to pick up multiple new languages easily. This is primarily because their developing brain allows them to store the information categorically as they keep learning new things. Therefore, one main advantage of reading to children is also the fact that you can help them pick up different languages from their very nascent stages of life.
Age Appropriate Reading
Reading to babies does not mean that you pick up a novel and read aloud. The key is to pick up an age-appropriate book that is visually very appealing for children.
- For children below four months, you can begin with fabric books that have images on each side. Since this is also the age where children tend to chew anything possible, fabric books work best to avoid injuries and are also extra colorful to hold their interest.
- For children over four months, you can begin with smaller books that graphically list alphabets with corresponding objects, fruits, etc. This helps build their language, and they understand different words and letters associated with them.
- For children over one, pick up kid’s books that are engaging, fun, and filled with lessons. You can also introduce them to read aloud books, so they can repeat the words and learn to speak.
Some Tips for Reading to a Newborn
- We previously highlighted the importance of building a daily routine in children. This inculcates a sense of rhythm in their life and creates a space to thrive. In this same vein, making reading part of their daily schedule has its own benefits as well.
- It is ideally recommended that you read to them before bed every day as it allows them to relax and calm down.
- It helps them connect with you closely that eases them into sleep quickly. For babies, regularly reading with them helps them bond with you and vice versa. It is a good one on one activity to engage with your child.
- Remember to voice modulate while reading a book. Children associate different tones to different words and this can aid in their memory-building of words and the language.
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