A big question people often have is, do babies understand what we are saying? The answer to this, is yes!
Reading to babies contributes to their development of their growing brains. It helps a baby with their language development as they begin to learn speech patterns along with taking in information.
Reading books to babies and kids help them to expand the variety of words that they use. Many books contain words we may not used in our everyday life. Books contain different names for different things and may use more adjectives, this helps your baby hear lots of different words. Hearing words helps a baby build a network of words in their brain. The more stories you read aloud to your baby, the more words and sounds they will hear. All this adds up to their ability to talk and communicate later. A study conducted in 2019 estimated that children who are regularly read to in their first five years of life are exposed to 1.4 million more words that children who were not read to in these first years.
Babies can gain a greater emotional understanding from by the expressions and sounds you make while reading. This helps with their brain development. Spoken words convey that words have different meanings things while different sounds mean certain things.
Making reading a part of your new-born’s routine helps them to see that reading is fun and sets them up for life. It will teach them that reading is not a chore for school or work, but reading can be fun too.
What is the best way to read to your baby?
Try to read everyday and at similar times so it becomes a comforting routine for your baby. Ensure you point out and names pictures such as animals for example. This helps your child to learn what these pictures are. You can later ask them to point to the “duck” for example. This creates a learning process and understanding of what different things are for your baby. Read the book with expression, giving each character a different voice, making animal sounds, and introducing your baby to new sounds.
How to pick the best books for your baby?
During the first few months of a baby’s life, they just love the sound of your voice, so anything you read is helpful. As they get a little older, books that they can touch is ideal. Vinyl or cloth books are easy for a baby to touch and feel. As they become more interested, books with bright colours, and shapes are great to read. Once your child starts talking, pick books with simple words or phrases they can learn.
The best way to ensure you child becomes a reader is to have books around the house for them to read as they get older.