Babies & Books: A ” Go To”Guide
Babies & Books Go Hand In Hand
Raising Readers in A Digital World
By now I’m pretty sure that you have heard that reading with babies is a great thing to do! The benefits to both the baby and you have been talked about for decades. However, if we are being totally honest the whole experience can be intimidating and sometimes downright overwhelming for some of us! Feeling silly reading to your baby? Feeling unsure about what to read? Wondering how to get your baby to stop chewing on the corners of the book while you try to read? Been there…done that! I have some tried and true tips and tricks to help make the experience a positive one for both Mama and baby!
Sharing a story together can be a positive experience for both of you! Research shows that introducing babies as young as 4 months to books and stories can increase your child’s vocabulary. In fact, recent research has shown that children who come from homes where they were read to early and often have an increased vocabulary. On average, about 20 million more words vs. children in families where reading and storytelling are not part of their day. 20 million more words by 3 years old! Sounds worth it to me!
The benefits of increased vocabulary aside, there are many more positives to come from reading aloud to your little one! Setting aside time to share a story or two with your baby helps to build a connection between mother and baby that comes from shared experiences. As you and your child read together, your baby is taking part in a learning activity that can grow into a love of stories and learning too!
Reading aloud to your little one doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience either. There are a few simple tips to keep in mind. Just like any other new experience, it is best to have a plan and be ready for reading! So how does a mom get ready to read? Simple! Find a book that you love and that excitement and joy will be shared by your baby too! They are like little sponges, they can feel your excitement and ” read” your emotions too! So if you’re nervous they will feel it and respond to that feeling. RELAX and they will too! Here are some tips to help create a joyful experience for both you and baby too! Let’s Get Ready to Read!
Lap Reading is ideal: So find a cozy chair or comfy couch to sit together. Do this daily in the same space to encourage repetition and make it a familiar experience for baby!
Keep it Comfy & Familiar: Children thrive when they are familiar with a routine, feel safe and loved. Learning increases when children feel secure. In other words, the more comfortable you feel the better you can take in new information and make it meaningful.
Keep it Short & Simple: For babies, it’s best to start with cloth books or vinyl bath books or chunky board books with simple words and colorful pictures.
Skipping Pages is OK : Try not to take it too seriously! Although many things are happening in that real life moment with your little one, the most important is the connection between you and your child. The feelings created while sharing a book will last a lifetime. The shared smiles, laughs, suspense, and wonder of it all will remain long after the book is finished. So relax and feel free to edit as needed. Please be mindful that the story has a beginning, middle and an end( which will show itself as your child grows with sequences and math skills too)