I’m sure you know that reading to your older child is super important and has so many benefits for their developing brains.
But what about reading to your newborn baby?
Is it really necessary when they’re that little? Here are some incredible reasons why you should read to your newborn and how it impacts their development.
My initial thought with our first baby was that he can’t understand a book at all so what’s the point?
However, since then my mind has been changed.
Yes, it’s true that your baby can’t understand what your saying, but your reading aloud is building an incredible groundwork for their brain development as they continue to grow.
Check out this great, in-depth article called 4 Must-Haves for Baby’s Brain Development to learn exactly what your baby needs for proper development and why they need it!
Furthermore, reading to your baby is just too fun not to implement into your daily routine.
Snuggle up together with a few of your baby’s favorite books (you’ll learn that they have favorites the more you read to them) and watch their little brains working as you speak.
Read to Your Newborn to Help with Language Development and Memory
The most compelling reason of why you should read to your newborn is that it boosts their language development and cognitive skills, prepares them for school, enhances memory, and builds their vocabulary.
Though your baby can’t yet understand the words you’re saying, the only way they will ever learn is by hearing.
And they will learn more words and concepts faster the more you read to them.
Talk about giving your child a head start in learning and schooling!
Of course, reading to a newborn is going to be different than reading to a older children.
You might not be able to get through a whole picture book, or you may notice your baby can’t focus on long sentences. This is perfectly fine.
Just speak a few words with each page and that will be more engaging.
Also, your newborn might want to touch and chew on the book! This is normal as well, as it will help them take in more information about the world around them!
Go with whatever is interesting and engaging for your baby!
When your baby listens to your voice, they tune in to the rhythms and sounds being made.
Initially, reading, “Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?” won’t mean much to them. However, they are taking in the sounds of language and how they fit together.
Pointing to the picture of a red bird in a book as saying “red bird” will help them make a connection between what your saying and the picture. It’s helping them learn the names of objects and what they are!
Furthermore, reading to your newborn is an important way to begin growing their vocabulary.
First, their understanding vocabulary and later their speaking vocabulary.
For example, kids whose parents frequently talk/read to them at a very young age will know more words by age 2 than children who have not been read to! They will be able to talk better and are more likely to learn how to read at the right time.
Helps Newborn Develop Lifelong Love of Reading
When you begin reading to your child at such an early age and continue to as they grow, it teaches them to love reading. This will benefit them so much in school and afterwards.
They will be more likely to pursue knowledge and learning for the rest of their lives!
According to research and advice from teachers/paediatricians, it’s best to instill a love of books and reading from birth. Reading helps them learn to listen and focus. It builds motivation and curiosity and encourages creative exploration of the world around them.
The sooner you start and the more consistent you are with bringing books into their every day schedule, the more likely it will be that they enjoy reading later on.
Personally, I wish I would have started reading to my son a lot sooner. Back then, I had no idea it was so important.
I didn’t start reading to him until he was about 6 months old!
It was after one day when my mom was over and my baby was crying and upset about something. She took him into the nursery and rocked him and read to him. He loved it and immediately calmed down!
I’ve been reading to him ever since. I underestimated how much he would like to be read to and how entertaining it would be for him, even as an infant!
Bond With Your Newborn Through Reading Aloud
The last reason of why you should read to your newborn is maybe the most important: it promotes bonding time with baby!
When you have a newborn, it might seem difficult to be able to bond and form a relationship with them. However, reading aloud is one great way to do that.
You can cuddle up together with a book before bedtime or nap time and focus solely on your child without distractions.
Sitting on a rocking chair while reading is especially fun. As your baby grows older, they will love to sit next to you on the floor and listen in.
Reading one-on-one to your child is nurturing and helps develop the parent/child relationship.
It sets the stage for future communication skills. Everything you do when you read to your baby – your facial expressions, your voice, your touch – they learn from. This is how they can connect with you.
Being close to your and hearing your voice is your baby’s favorite thing. And when reading is involved, they will begin to associate comfort with books, creating a budding literature lover.
I hope all of these great reasons show you why you should read to your newborn.
Don’t forget to check out 4 Must-Haves for Baby’s Brain Development to learn even more about specific things that will help your baby develop and be a little smarty!