3 Major Benefits of Reading to Your Baby
It’s never too early to start reading to your baby! Sure, your sweet newborn might not understand complex plot lines, and an 11-month old infant may not have the attention span to sit through a story cover to cover, but regularly reading to your baby is the important first step in creating a lifelong love for books and stories.
Whether it’s a board book with only pictures, a children’s storybook, or a New York Times article, reading with your baby has numerous long and short-term benefits, including:
#1. Exposure to New Ideas
Babies’ brains are like sponges. They are constantly soaking up information about the world, including everything from simple concepts like colors and numbers to complex societal norms like family structures and behavioral expectations.
One of the best ways to encourage this learning and exploration is to expose your baby to as much as possible so that he or she is constantly seeing, hearing, touching, and tasting new things. In our daily routines, it’s not always easy to find new places or things to explore. This is where books come in. Books can show your baby the solar system, a zoo, or a cultural tradition from a country across the world, all from the comfort of the nursery.
Even if your little one can’t understand all of the concepts presented in the content you’re reading, he or she is taking it all in and will use the knowledge slowly over time to make sense of his or her world.
#2. Language Development
Babies may not be able to speak, but they can listen. They’re listening when you sing lullabies, they’re listening when you talk to friends on the phone, and they’re listening when you read to them.
The more you talk to and read to your baby, the easier he or she will start to pick up on words, sounds, and intonation. For maximum language development benefit, read slowly, annunciating each word and stopping to point out the images on the page that correspond with the words. For example, if your book includes a zoo scene, pointing to each animal and naming it slowly will help your baby learn that the word is associated with that image.
#3. Quality Bonding Time
Perhaps as valuable as the exposure to new ideas and language development, if not more so, is the bonding opportunity that reading together brings. When reading to your baby, try to find a cozy chair, couch, or bed somewhere quiet where you can both sit comfortably with as few distractions as possible. Complete your snuggly set-up with a warm, ultrasoft Baby Minky Blanket. This focused time together will be calming for you both.
It doesn’t matter if you only have time to read with your baby once a day or once a week. As long as you are able to commit your undivided attention during that special one-on-one time, it’s time well spent.