Reading to Your Baby

Some believe that there is value in reading to a baby still in the uterus, and many begin their babies on books shortly after birth. But it isn’t until some time in the second half of the first year that a baby becomes an active participant in the reading process. At this point, your baby enjoys the sounds of the words that you read aloud. And also the colors and patterns, specially the ones related to known objects.

Choosing Children’s Books

There are many children’s books available at the bookshop shelves but only a few are suitable for your little beginner. Look for books that have:

  • bold, bright, and realistic pictures. Especially of familiar objects like cars, animals, toys, other babies.
  • simple pictures that are not cluttered.
  • one word description or rhymes or a simple storyline for you to read aloud and repeat daily.
  • activity tie-ins such as peek-a-boo, touch textures, flaps. and mirrors that encourage your baby’s participation.
  • sturdy construction that defies destruction. Sturdier books with laminated cardboard pages with rounded edges, cloth books, vinyl for bath time.

How to Read Aloud to Your Baby
Read out to your baby in style. Read out slowly, with a lilting singsong voice and exaggerated emphasis in the right places. Stop at each page to stress salient points or show animals or people to your baby within the storyline.

Make Reading a Habit
Build reading into your baby’s daily routine, doing a few minutes atleast twice a day when she is alert and happy. Before nap time, after lunch, after bath, and before bed are all good reading times. But don’t push a book if the baby is not receptive. Reading should never be a chore.

Keep the Library Accessible at All Times
Keep the babyproof books at the lower shelf where the baby can crawl or walk to them and enjoy them by herself. Sometimes you will notice that your baby will casually pick up a book of her interest and turn pages to look at pictures at her own pace.
 

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