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It's Never Too Early to Begin Reading to Babies!

It's Never Too Early to Begin Reading to Babies!

Parents often mention they are waiting for their child to get a little older before they start reading to them, with the thought being that reading to babies is that it is a task better undertaken when the child is old enough to understand the words and pictures and can enjoy the story. I say don't wait! Start reading to your baby now and tell your friends! Reading to babies is one of the best gifts you can give. The benefits of reading are far reaching and the snuggle-time precious! And, with these 3 reading tips for parents, the experience can be truly positive for both adults and baby.

Easy Does it.

As a parent with a young baby, finding the time to sit down and read can seem an insurmountable obstacle. A few minutes here or there might seem do-able, but the time to read a book (even a picture book) from start to finish? Impossible. Guess what... very young children have short attention spans. A number of short reading breaks throughout the day are just fine by baby. 

Don't Read, Just Talk.

Is the seven hundredth reading of "Goodnight Moon" taking its toll? Talk about the book instead. Name all of the objects in the little bunny's room, and compare them to your child's room. Discuss the colors on the page, the fact that you had a bunny growing up. You get the picture. The important piece is that you and baby are interacting with and enjoying a book. As you might have guessed, the plot at this age isn't the biggest draw.

Choose Well.

When selecting books for reading to babies, choose wisely. Opt for books with high-contrast black and white images, familiar objects, or photographs or drawing of other children. Choose board books or cloth books - both perfect for little hands to hold and little mouths to gum. Search for books that feature rhyming verse and rhythmic cadence or that focus on favorite childhood songs. And, most of all, choose titles that you enjoy. Young children love repetition, and you will be sharing these stories over and over (and over and over and over) again.

Reading to babies from day one is critical to  language and literacy development. Almost every positive trait from confidence and concentration to a lifelong love of learning and future job success can be attributed to the benefits of reading to baby. Take comfort in these three reading tips for parents and start early, read often, and enjoy. They grow up so quickly! 

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