Why Reading Aloud to Your Baby (and Kids) is Important

There are few things children treasure more than the moments when they have their parents to themselves. It’s a time for making positive associations. Add a book to those moments, and you’ve just added reading to that list of positive associations.

Second only to life, reading is one of the most important gifts parents can give to their children. It not only gives parents the opportunity to put in some quality bonding time, it also boosts a child’s brain activity and starts a good habit that can serve a child for a lifetime. Here are some reasons sharing a book with your little one is bound to get a positive reading from both experts and babies:

It Helps Build Bonds

Your baby might not know why Sam won’t eat his “Green Eggs and Ham,” but he’ll still be comforted by the sound of your voice. According to Mary Ann Abrams, MD, director of Reach Out and Read, “Reading a book to your child is a one on one activity that you can really turn into a special time with your baby.”

Sharing books also serves a dual purpose. It supports a child’s exploration of the world, while keeping the child feeling safe. By meeting these needs, the parent is creating an interaction that will help his offspring navigate the world more confidently and independently.

It Makes Babies Smart

Is it possible for your baby to have brains as well as beauty? If you read to them at a young age, you’re definitely increasing the chances. Studies show that infants who hit the books early had a head-start on vocabulary and mathematical skills when they got to school age.

Boosts Literacy Skills

Research reviewed by the National Literacy Panel shows that children who develop literacy skills in pre school years perform better in primary grades, and that a young child’s ability to understand written and spoken words lead to later achievement in reading, writing, and spelling.

It Makes Babies Emotional

Ok, so maybe your baby doesn’t need much work on expressing her emotions, (like, tell us how you really feel, amiright?) however, reading might just help her to interpret them. The dialogue in books can teach a child a lot about empathy, kindness, as well as anger and sadness. Books teach children how to appropriately respond to these feelings in one another, as well as in themselves.

It Aids Sensory Development

While it was once thought that sensory development occurred independently of stimulus, later research shows that they go part and parcel with one another. According to neuroscientist Audrey van der Meer, EEG studies show  that not only do neurons increase in the brain when a child learns to read, but also that when some synapses go unused for a while, they actually disappear.

Want to keep those neurons firing on all cylinders? Read to your child. It helps boost audio acuity important for language development and sharpens visuals to aid in letter and shape recognition. 

You’re Raising A Reader

How can I get my child to read more? It’s the question on many parents’ lips when their child reaches about elementary school age. The secret is to start good habits early.

When you read with your child, you’re sharing a part of your world with him. He’ll grow to see reading as something not only valuable and pleasurable, but also mature. Children love nothing more than to be treated like adults. If he sees reading as a sign of sophistication, it will make him more likely to take it up himself and you’ll be planting the seeds to grow a reader.   

Reading To Your Baby

Keep in mind that everything is a toy to your baby, and books are no different. Grabbing, turning pages and even chewing on books are all common side effects. However, as unpredictable as your reading sessions with your newborn may get, there are some general guidelines for reading to your baby:

  • Cuddle while you read. Hold the baby on your lap and literally snuggle up with a good book.
  • Forget about the plot. Chances are your child is not that results focussed, and may be more interested in turning pages than finding out how the book ends. Let it go; Its just his way of taking in information.
  • Facilitate the experience. Encourage your child to point out pictures and names. Consider asking him to “point to the cow” for example.
  • As your child begins to show interest in reading, increase the length and complexity of books appropriately. A child of about one year may enjoy hearing something with an actual storyline.

As for the cuddling part, we suggest you and your baby get cozy in SOOJIN Animal Print and Stripe Swaddle Blankets. The 100% organic GOTS certified Egyptian cotton will make your reading time extra safe and snuggly and the animal print will add to your baby’s sense of adventure.

As for books, we've got you covered! Here are our hand-selected baby books for supporting development while inspiring the imagination:

The Most Magnificent Thing

 

Article Sources:

Parents.com

ScienceDaily.com

National Literacy Panel

 

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