One key way to nurture your baby is through reading aloud to them. In recent years, personalised books have proven a great way to get them started, as your baby can actually start to recognise their name in the book. The benefits of reading to babies have been proven time and again through various studies, but as we parents are busy folk, we’ve summarised below the benefits of reading to your baby.
Bonding with Your Baby
From as early as 18 weeks into pregnancy your baby’s tiny ears begin to pick up sound, and the main thing they love to hear is your voice. When your little one enters the world, the love of your voice doesn’t diminish, if anything it grows.
When you read to your baby it becomes a nurturing activity between the two of you, instead of a task or chore. Ultimately, story time will bring the two of you closer together. Taking the time to read to them as part of your routine provides a sense of stability. Though they may not fully understand what you say to them, they’ll understand that your focus is on them and enjoy the one-to-one attention.
Improve Their Speech and Communication Skills
Books for babies are often written with the rhythm and sound of the words in mind. The reading aloud of these stories help babies to begin understanding the patterns of speech. They are given a head-start on how to distinguish between syllables and words, providing them with the building blocks for language.
Babies will begin to copy these sounds, recognise pictures within the books and begin developing their verbal skills. So the more you read, the faster they come to grips with language. Personalised books can also be a great way for them to start learning their name!
Enhanced Emotional and Social Development
Hearing you use different expressive sounds allows your baby to begin exploring the emotions they are beginning to feel. Understanding emotions will help them to cope with their feelings and enhances their social skills.
Developing Their Senses
It’s not just their sense of hearing that is engaged when reading to your little one. Allowing them to view the pages of books as they are read stimulates their sight. Encouraging your baby to interact with the book, pointing at the illustrations and asking them questions will encourage their curiosity, encouraging neural pathways to develop as you read. The feel of a book invokes their sense of touch, allowing them to hold the book, turn its pages and fell the paper with their fingertips all in turn help them to develop those all-important fine motor skills.
A Head Start on Learning
All of these benefits combined give your child a jump start on their education. When it comes for them to start school in a few years’ time, children who have been read to will enjoy the benefits of your efforts. Kids that have benefited from the increased development of social, emotional and language skills are shown to be more academically successful – meaning they have a higher earning potential later in life.
Albert Einstein summarised it perfectly “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
Why reading to your baby is so important is a feature post