When you open a book with your baby you are opening the world for him.
You are making him think and wonder, and want to know more. You are helping him do well in school in the future, and someday find a good job. Best of all you are spending time together as a family.
Here are 5 other good reasons to read to your baby:
- Reading has a calming effect on a restless baby.
- Baby is entertained by nursery rhymes, songs, and colorful pictures.
- The pleasure of being held transfers to the desire to be read to.
- Baby will learn to listen and will grow up ready to read.
- It’s fun to read to baby!
Learning About Books
As you read to your baby point to the words moving your finger from left to right along the line. As well as learning the sounds of language the baby is learning how to handle a book, that it is read from front to back, top to bottom of the page, and from left to right along the line of print. Children in kindergarten and first grade who have been read with at home are the ones who hold books right side up and who turn the pages from front to back. Encourage baby to point at special things on the page by asking questions e.g. “Where is the red ball?” “Where is the dog?” etc. Praise her for trying and point to the answer and name it yourself if she does not respond correctly.
Encourage baby to pick up the receiver of a toy telephone and imitate the words and sounds you make. Change your voice to show surprise or excitement. Place a toy in a paper lunch bag, and fold the bag closed. Ask ba-by to open the bag and remove the toy. Talk about the toy together. Use different toys and have fun together. What is being said to the baby is called receptive language. This develops long before she is ready to speak. Although infants may comprehend 15 to 100 words, their first words are usually not uttered until around 10 to 14 months. But always remember that babies develop at different rates. Read Anytime, Anyplace! . Keep a few books in your car. Baby will enjoy looking at books while riding, especially on long trips. . Take books on visits to the doctor to occupy baby while in the waiting room. . Bring a few books along when eating out. Reading will help keep you and your baby busy while waiting for your . meal.
Read Anytime, Anyplace!
- Keep a few books in your car. Baby will enjoy looking at books while riding, espe-cially on long trips.
- Take books on visits to the doctor to occupy baby while in the waiting room.
- Bring a few books along when eating out. Reading will help keep you and your baby busy while waiting for your meal.
Attention Spans Vary
Some babies will sit and listen to an entire story, but others will not. Their attention span is shorter and reading may have to be done in shorter amounts. Parents of wiggly youngsters who would rather eat the book thanlisten need not despair. Just gently keep on trying without getting in to a power struggle with your baby. It’s important that your reading sessions be happy and
Children benefit from hearing the sound of their parent’s voice. Reading aloud and reciting nursery rhymes are excellent ways of teaching language to your child. Nursery rhymes can bring pleasure to almost every part of your child’s day. At bath time sing “Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub”. When dressing recite “One , two, buckle my shoe”. Recite, chant, or sing as you help your child with daily activities and at playtime.
Selecting Books for Infants
Board books, cloth or soft plastic books are perfect for little hands. These can be safely left in the crib so baby develops a “taste” for books.
- Books with rhyme, rhythm, and repetition.
- Books with pictures of other babies.
- Books with large, colorful, and uncluttered pictures.
- Books with textures or touch and feel books.
Be responsive to your child. Watch for cues that your baby has had enough, such as crying, or squirming to get off your lap. Paying attention to these signals helps you know when it is time to put the book down for now. Remember that reading should always be a pleasant experience and not a chore for either parent or child.
Celebrate Baby’s Accomplishments
In just less than a year, your child has evolved from a helpless being to a curious busy tot who is exploring and trying new experiences. This is a time to celebrate baby’s accomplishments. With your constant love, support, and encouragement, he or she will
continue to learn and build on past achievements. Enjoy every moment of this wonderful journey.
Toys and games should always be used by children under the direct and constant supervision of an adult. The toys and games mentioned here are general recommendations only. Proper and appropriate use of toys and games should be de-termined by each parent on the basis of an individual child’s age and abilities.
Suggested Books for Sharing
- Marguerite De Aneli Book of Nursery and Mother Goose Rhymes
- Karma Wilson Baby Cakes
- Paul Caldone The Little Red Hen
- Bill Martin Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?