It has become fairly common to hear that it is good to read to your baby, even before they are born! Is it true? If you google it, you’ll see research and many articles telling you so. I tried it once. I read a baby book out loud while I was very round and pregnant. It felt a little silly and I don’t recall doing it again. Not to say that it isn’t good; I just didn’t jive with that.
However, I read a lot to my baby since the wee tiny stage at a few months. I didn’t really know how much I should read or if I was doing it “right” but I read. I tried to make sure she was propped up in my lap well to see the pages. Some days I felt like it didn’t do any good and some days I did feel perhaps a little silly. I read the same children’s book over and over. Was it doing any good? I recall seriously wondering!
If you ask me now, yes! I agree that it is important. My little girl, who is three now, loves being read a story. I also read to my son, who is one. He doesn’t love stories and books the way she does (or did), but he loves them nonetheless. He enjoys looking through books on his own and I can tell that he also loves being in my lap and being read to. His attention span with books is much shorter, but it’s there. Their personalities are different and their learning style and interests are different, but they both love books.
Why is that important? It’s no secret that learning and success is largely impacted by reading. Even adults are encouraged to read often. A wise father once told me, you should always be reading a book. During the years of a young child, this ability to read can have a big impact on their success in school.
Reading to a baby or toddler consistently at a young age can do several things. One, it strengthens the bond between child and parent. Second, it fosters a love and appreciation for books and reading. Third, it enhances speech ability – and who wouldn’t love to be able to understand what their toddler is saying?
So, if you have a tiny baby and you’re wondering if it is doing any good, or perhaps if you should do it … do it! I strongly encourage it. You don’t have to spend hours every day, just a few. But do it consistently.