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So when I ordered board books for my baby-girl when she was 2 months old, everyone made fun of me!
At an age where babies can barely make eye contact and smile, the thought of me introducing a book just did not make sense to them.
But I had made up my mind about it and so I went ahead with my plan of reading out to her from it every single day. Of course, initially, it only looked like one-way communication. She barely even looked at the book.
But over a period of time, the benefits of reading out from such a young age started becoming more and more evident.
What are the benefits of reading to babies?
Learning voice modulations and emotions
The act of reading to a baby involves speaking in different tones, experimenting with different voice modulations. Over a period of time, this teaches the baby to learn about different moods and emotions through your style of speaking. It strengthens the baby’s association between words and emotions.
Within a few weeks of reading to my baby, I noticed that she used to kick and smile when I read certain ‘happy sounding’ words.
Association of words and visuals
As your baby’s gaze stabilises and the visuals in the book start registering with the baby, the baby not only picks up on new colours, shapes and art forms, but it also begins to establish a connection between words and visuals.
Over a period of time, they begin to identify these visuals by their names.
Leap in vocabulary
Reading from a young age sets up the perfect base required for developing your child’s vocabulary. You won’t notice the benefits that reading has on your baby until your baby grows a bit older.
When my baby girl turned one, she could already speak over 50 words. A lot of those words came from the books that I used to read out to her when she was a baby. I didn’t have to go through any additional trouble to get her interested in words and language.
Books become friends
We all know how important reading is for personal growth. Yet, with the advancement of technology, more and more visual video-based mediums are inching into our lives. Kids who aren’t used to being read to as babies begin to prefer these screen-based forms of entertainment over books and inculcating the habit of reading onto them later on in their lives becomes impossible.
On the contrary, if you start reading out to your baby, books form an integral part of their growing up and as they grow older, the habit of reading sticks with them. In fact, babies who are read to right from their infancy days, find reading extremely enjoyable.
As the years progress, their sense of comfort with books translates into lesser screen-time, better focus and concentration.
So what are you waiting for? Start reading to your baby already!