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Reading to Your Baby from Birth

By Eriani Doyel

If you are expecting your first child, or if you care for a young child, you should know that reading to them is one of the best gifts that you can give to them. Reading is the key that will open the door to knowledge and education for them for the rest of their lives. How early should you start to read to your baby? Although some try to read to their baby before they are born, if you start right after they are born, they will be given a head start on reading success and life.

reading-to-your-baby-from-birth.jpgWhat do you read to a baby? Although babies cannot see or focus very well for a few months after birth, they can see basic outlines, shapes and bright colors. There are many books designed specifically for reading to babies that have these features. The book does not even have to have any words. You can supply those as you look at the pictures and point to objects.

Where should you read to a baby? Reading should be a comforting, bonding moment for you and your baby. Put them right in your lap. This is not only good because you can both see the pictures, but the baby will feel close and secure.

How should you read to a baby? Reading should be much like speaking to a baby. Research has shown that babies respond best to “baby talk”-that high, sing-song voice that many people just use naturally when they are talking to a baby. Be animated and do not use a harsh, loud or monotone voice.

As you read, point to objects in the book and name them. You will find that soon the baby will also be able to point and name objects. Reading begins just like this. Let the baby turn the pages and handle the book. This is one reason that the books you buy or check out from the library for your baby are sturdy board books or cloth books.

To really encourage your baby to read you should make sure that you have books in a place where the baby can easily reach them and use them. It may frustrate you to see them pounding on them and eating them, but really this is the beginning of a love of books. Keep the “nice” books out of reach, but make sure there are selections that are never off limits. Your baby will thank you.

About the Author:
Eriani Doyel writes articles about Home and Family. For more information about
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2 Comments on "Reading to Your Baby from Birth"

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7 years 5 months ago
I have been reading to my twin girls from day 1, they are now 28 weeks old and love books. The expressions on their faces are wonderful as they see all of the different pictures in the book. Their favorite first book was ‘Brown Bear Brown Bear’ by Eric Carle. They do not understand the text but they sure understood all of the expression in my voice. Reading is just great. We read a story in the morning and again in the evening. Their books are available for them all day and I change the books on their playmat on… Read more »

[…] the time your child is born, make reading aloud to your child a part of your daily routine. Pick a quiet time, such as just before you put […]

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