Wednesday, July 9, 2014

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Reading to Baby

A few days ago, I found it odd that by 7am my two year old had not called out for me. I peeked into his room and found him "reading" in his crib. He was flipping pages and pointing at the pictures just like I do when I read to him and his brothers. I remember relaxing and thinking, "Perfect! That makes 3 life-long readers."

How early can parents help turn children into strong readers? I started my three boys at birth and already know that at age 7, 3 1/2, and 2, they will enjoy reading their whole lives! Not only will they read for pleasure but it will help them immensely with other subjects throughout their academic years.

Reading to babies is super important, as well as having babies handle, play, and chew on books (board books are the best!).

Here are 5 reasons why you should start reading to your baby now: 

1) Listening skills are developed early. Babies love the sound of mami or daddy's voice, especially when it changes from high pitched to low. My boys love my barking voice when reading about dogs! They enjoy the pattern and rhythm of a story and the sounds every single thing seems to have.

2) Language skills are developed early. The more we read and talk to babies, the faster they will start to express themselves verbally. Books also help us start different conversations and themes that normally wouldn't come up in a regular day. Keep in mind that sounds that build vocabulary are learned in the first year! 

3) Reading is great for baby's memory. My two year old can already finish a few sentences from "Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom." When I read, "Will there be enough room?" Jordi answers, "NO!" He's right! Two-year-old children will memorize quickly and that means they are strengthening their little brain muscles. If baby wants you to read the same book over and over again, please do! Repetition is brilliant!

4) They learn about the world around them. Where did the car go? What color is the sky? Who is this fish? Let's count in Spanish... Babies start to understand that books speak the truth. They understand that there is something happening in books just like in our real lives. Jordi points at a sad face in his book and knows that the character is feeling something.  There is more to numbers, letters, shapes, and animals in board books. We can teach babies about feelings, places, and experiences! 

5) Reading becomes the norm.  Read to your baby now and see that as they get older (and see you do it too!) that they will always turn to books for enjoyment. It's never too late to start making it a daily routine. The best part of reading together every single day? Snuggles and love!

Betty Galvan, is writing "for smart and stylish moms" over


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