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Benefits of Reading to Infants and Newborns

I started reading books to my babies regularly when they were just 2 months old.  And I realised I started late! 
Can we read books to infants and newborns? Do they even understand anything? These must be the first few questions coming in your mind as you read this topic, right? 

An infant may not understand everything you read, but reading aloud is a wonderful shared activity that can do wonders to boost your little one’s brain. Reading to infants contributes to the development of their growing brains and gives them a good start towards a lifelong love for books and reading.

Benefits of reading to infants and newborns
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If you are wondering how does reading to infants and newborn can help in their overall development, then read below some major benefits. 
  1. Reading aloud teaches a baby about communication. It introduces them to rhythms of sound and builds a rich network of words in their brain.
  2. When you read to your baby, he/she gets familiar to so  many different emotions and expressive sounds. This supports social and emotional development.
  3. It also encourages your baby to look, point, touch, pages, pictures etc. This helps with social development and thinking skills.
  4. As your child will grow, he will try to copy sounds, recognize pictures etc. This will improves language skills. 
  5. Most importantly, reading aloud makes a connection between things your baby loves the most – your voice /touch/closeness and books. They begin to associate books with happiness/ happy memories as they grow and find comfort in this activity. 
Different stages 

0-3 months. – Newborns may not know what the pictures in a book mean, but its bright colours and pictures attract them. They can focus on them- especially the faces, various colors, and different patterns.  Also when you read or sing a nursery rhymes, your voice can entertain or even soothe/calm your infant.

What to read -They just like to hear your voice, so you can read almost anything to them. As they get more interested, move to simple picture books with solid backgrounds. 

3-6 months – Your child may begin to show interest in books but will treat them more as toys. He/she will grab and hold books, and also try to mouth or chew. 

What to read – You can choose sturdy vinyl or cloth books with bright colors and repetitive, or rhyming text. Get one that have faces and bright colours/shapes, etc. 

6-12 months – Your baby will start to understand that pictures represent objects, and may even start pointing to  certain pictures, pages, etc. By 12 months, your little one will learn to turn pages (with some help from you), and even repeat your sounds.

What to read – Get books with different textures. Cloth books or Lift-the-Flap ones are a good option. 

Once your child grows, this activity of reading books will help him/her thrive in various ways. (Read how in this post How Reading Aloud To Young Kids Help Them Thrive)

This post is a part of Blogchatter’s A2Z challenge – #BlogchatterA2Z  on the alphabet ‘B’. My theme for this challenge is ‘Books for Kids’. You can find all 26 posts on this topic under the hashtags #themomsagas_books on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


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