Books and Babies…Never Too Young!
Congratulations on your new arrival! During these first few days and weeks, you are most likely concerned with the growth and development of your infant. You may be carefully monitoring their feeding and sleeping schedule. You may feel consumed by caring for your baby's basic needs.
In addition to this care, don't forget that even though your baby is “oh so tiny,” they are born ready to learn.
What's one of the best ways for your baby to learn?
Books, of course!
Books? Yes, books. It's never too early to begin reading to your baby.
I have to admit that even with a formal education in child development, when it came to my baby, I was like most. In those first few days and weeks, I was content to hold my newborn, staring at her as I nursed. I would sing, but I hadn't read my baby her first book.
A few weeks after my baby was born, a friend asked me if I had read her a book. What a good idea!
Cuddled up with my newborn, I opened up one of the wonderful books I had received. The text was simple and the pictures bright. As I began reading, I saw a response from my newborn. She was so little, yet she was engaged! It was a great “hit over the head” reminder that this little one was a little person. There was a whole new world for her to explore and books were a great introduction.
- New vocabulary that gives meaning to objects, places, people, and animals.
- An additional way to interact with your baby. So little and new, books provide the perfect mechanism for you and your baby to bond.
- An appropriate way to expose and introduce your baby to the world around them. You can find books on any subject. Best of all, children's books have been designed to provide a developmentally appropriate way to explore the world.
- A great way to build a routine for your baby. Books can be used in the morning after feeding when your baby is alert and “ready to play.” Books are just as great before rest time as a way to calm, comfort, and soothe your infant.
Where to start?
Children's books have been developed to both entertain and educate. Look for books that you will enjoy reading. These may include books with rhyming verses, beautiful pictures, or a simple story.
You are a model for your baby. Your baby will embrace your passion and love for the subject matter at hand.
Books…share them from the earliest days. There are plenty of books available to grow with you and your baby!