A lot of people have been asking why raising a reader is so important. And I thought, “Why not list them down neatly!?”
So when is the right time to start reading to your baby?
Ans. No time is too early. We started reading The Jungle Book to baby V when she was in utero. It was a way to familiarize her to her dad’s voice, and reading before bed time (well , her awake time!)
Once she popped out, we hardly got time or energy to read to her and started again only at about 3months.
WHY? (Bullet point alert)
1. How does it help me?
We love our reading time which doubles up as bonding time. It is a dedicated time when we just read, talk, interact with no other distractions. Add to that, baby V is usually on my lap for reading, I get some free cuddles and snuggles too.
2. How does it help her now?
Books increase sensory stimulation. A baby is visually stimulated when she sees bright colored pages and pictures. When you read to a baby, she is introduced to a myriad of sounds, coos, words and rhythm. Touch and feel books increase tactile stimulation.
It is also a lovely way to increase imagination as well as introduce the baby to the real world.
3. How does it help her later?
Babies who are read to, learn to respond sooner ( you may notice 4month olds shaking their limbs to the rhythm of a well loved book).
Reading a book to them early on ensures communication and they are exposed to a variety of words and pictures that may not form a part of our daily baby vocabulary. Hence, they pick up language soon and well- speech development is rapid.
Research also shows that babies who are introduced to books have better focus and are good at mathematical skills because of the same.
4. Will she ever read independently?
Reading to babies is prep work for independent reading later on. Baby V started out by holding the book on her own, graduated to flipping pages on her own, and now sits and reads (blabbers and points at pages) independently for a few minutes everyday.
Also, when you read to your infant, babies learn to associate reading with a parent’s warmth and grow up to love books. (Ask me, I was made a reader on my Amma and Appa’s lap)