One of our readers asked, “When is the best time to start reading to my baby?” Our response? In the womb!
When you read to your baby in the womb, he can decipher the pattern of your voice. When he is born and you read that same book to him, he will remember that pattern and be comforted, as it is something he will associate to being in the womb.
If you decide to read to your baby while pregnant, read the same book every night so that your baby will become familiar with the pattern. Some good early board books include:
Once your baby is born, read that same book to him, until you are sick and tired of seeing its cover. Once he is a few months older, you can add a couple of more books for variety. Another good choice for older babies is any Dr. Seuss board book. Be sure to get the board books, because they hold up better and they are often shorter and more to the point than books with regular paper pages.
Make book time a regular nightly event at your home, perhaps after bath time. As he grows, he will really look forward to this and you will find that it is a great time for bonding. When he becomes a toddler, he will start to bring you books to read, and will have a strong preference for his favorites.
Another good tool in teaching your child about reading and books is the Leapfrog Little Touch Leap Pad. You can use this in babies as young as 6 months up to preschool age. It has three levels of interaction and pages that don’t tear. It is a great way for your baby to interact with your reading.
Another good way to encourage interaction during story times is to buy touchable books and pop up books. This allows your older baby or toddler to get more involved.
Don’t wait! Start reading to your baby today, to build strong reading habits tomorrow.
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