It’s never too early to start reading to your child. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests you read to your child as soon as he’s born. He won’t understand your words, but your voice stimulates his interest and the varying sounds help him develop his listening skills.
Reading helps stimulate his vocabulary, imagination, and improves communication skills. It introduces him to the concept of stories and gives him information about the world he wouldn’t normally be exposed to. The more words he hears more often, the better he’ll be able to talk.
As you read, engage him in the story. Ask him questions even though you know he won’t answer. Initially you can answer for him, but some say he’ll be answering for himself. This will help teach him to be involved in the story; to pay attention and comprehend what he’s hearing.
What You Read Doesn’t Really Matter
The content you read doesn’t matter as much as the sounds and pitch you make. Read anything that you enjoy, just do it out loud with your child nearby. Change voices, tones, and volume (not too loud!) as the content requires. This will help teach him all the possible variations of language.
This is a great opportunity for you to spend some time on yourself. Read that magazine you’ve wanted to get through or the book everyone’s been recommending. Park your little one close by or in your arms and spend some quality time together. If you’re interested in what you’re doing, it will show, and your baby will pick up on it and be interested himself.
Create a Pattern of Reading
By reading early to your child you build books into a part of his regular routine. Books will become something he looks forward to, rather than a chore to avoid. If you can help your child associate books with fun, he’ll struggle less in school when books become important.
When your baby begins to show an interest in the type of things you’re reading, switch to books with bright colors and fascinating pictures to further stimulate your child’s interest. These will also help introduce him to age-appropriate concepts.
Purchase books for your child and give them out as toys. Don’t treat them as “tools” or “necessities.” When your child unwraps a book, offer the same excitement you would for any other gift. Encourage your relatives and any other gift-givers in your family to do the same.
Audiobooks and Electronic Media Just Aren’t the Same
Putting your baby in front of a machine is alienating. Little ones can tell the difference between a real human speaking and a machine. Even educational TV shows can’t offer the enriched learning that comes from playing games or interacting with other people. Babies want an emotional connection and your attention. TV programs and audiobooks are fine, but only as a supplement to regular reading.
Written by Stephanie Parker from Sleepingbaby.com, inventors of the Zipadee-Zip
The motto for Sleeping Baby, makers of the Zipadee-Zip, is: "Inspiring Dreams One Night at A time," and that, in a nutshell, is how it all started…with one little dream that has since become the Parker family's reality. When Brett and Stephanie Parker's daughter, Charlotte, was born, the feeling that welled up inside of them was indescribable; they never realized until first looking into those baby blues of hers that they were even capable of that kind of love.
When it was time to transition baby from swaddling, the Parkers tried every sleep sack on the market and every swaddle weaning trick they could find for nearly two weeks and nothing worked to get baby Charlotte to fall and stay asleep.
Stephanie became determined to restore sleep and sanity to their household and set out to find a solution that would soothe Charlotte's startle reflex and provide her the cozy womb-like environment she loved so much but still give her the freedom to roll over and wiggle around in her crib safely. Out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, the Zipadee-Zip was born. The first Zipadee-Zip(R) Stephanie put together on her little sewing machine worked like magic!
To date tens of thousands of Zipadee-Zips have been sold and all from word-of-mouth marketing. It is so rewarding for the Parkers to see other parents and babies getting the sleep they both need and deserve!
For more information, visit sleepingbaby.com.
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