Reading To Your Baby
Studies have shown that babies begin to recognise the sound of their mother’s voice whilst they are still in the womb. Their heart rate slows whenever the mother is speaking, demonstrating that this familiar sound has a calming effect.
The sound of other familiar voices, including that of the baby’s father and siblings can also be recognised from inside the womb, but these are heard as external voices. The mother’s voice sounds very different to the unborn child because of a combination of the ambient sound heard through the abdomen and the vibration of the mother’s vocal cords.
Forming Great Habits From The Start
Once born, your baby will listen intently to your words, despite the fact that they are not yet able to understand them. Already they will be tuning in to the rhythm and melody of their native language.
It is never too early to start reading to your child and very young babies will love being read to, particularly by those whose voices are most familiar to them. Listening to your voices will have a soothing effect on baby and encourage the development of listening skills.
Get into a habit of reading regularly to your child from the start and it will become a natural part of your family routine. Reading together provides the whole family with a perfect opportunity to relax and bond and as your child develops; their association with books will be a positive one.
Talk Or Read To Your Baby To Boost Their Development
As your baby listens to your verbal communications as you read or simply talk to her, she will be learning all of the sounds that form an essential part of her native language. The more sounds and words she hears during the first twelve months of development, the better, because collectively these sounds will equip her to communicate more efficiently once she begins to talk.
Reading books regularly is a great way to help your baby to build their vocabulary skills for later on, but talking to your baby whilst walking, bathing, eating and as you go about your day is also a great way to build her understanding of the world around her and helps to boost the memory of different sounds and words.
Choosing Your Reading Material
Young babies are attracted to bright, contrasting colours and enjoy the playful, repetitive rhythms that are typical in books aimed at this age group. Durable board books are a great choice for babies once they begin to get more actively interested in the books you read with them as they are designed to stand up to being grabbed enthusiastically!
Once you begin reading regularly to your child you will probably notice that certain books get a more favourable response; babies soon develop favourites and will become very fond of one, or several familiar books, enjoying them time and time again.
Making Positive Connections
Helping your child to form a positive connection with books at the earliest opportunity will give them an appreciation and enjoyment of books and reading. This gives your child an excellent head start in life, as before you know it they will be making a connection between the sounds of the words you are reading to them and the actual text on the page.
Avoid the temptation to make it a conscious learning experience too early as there is a danger that you will take the fun out of the activity. Let your child simply enjoy the interaction of being close with loved ones, reading together and being entertained by books.
The educational, learning part will happen naturally at your child’s own pace, so it is far more important to keep the focus on bonding together and having fun!