Reading to infants contributes to the development of their growing brains and gives them a good start towards a lifelong love of reading and good literature. When you read to babies, it can also help speech development as they are taking in information and beginning to learn about speech patterns. In addition, synapses connect between your infant’s neurons as you read aloud, positively affecting child development in many areas. Infants tune in to the rhythm and cadence of our voices, especially the familiar voices of their parents and caregivers. As babies see a picture of a red bird in the book and you name the bird, they begin to make the connection between what you say and the picture of the red bird. The more you read that book, the stronger the connection.
Best Way to Read to Your Baby
Of course reading aloud to an infant is different than reading aloud to a preschooler. With a baby, you may not get through the whole book. Your baby may want to hold the book and chew on it or try turning pages. All of these actions are appropriate and help your child become familiar with books and how to handle them.
How to Choose Books for Babies
Books for babies should be easy for them to hold and manipulate. Books in heavy cardboard (board books), cloth, plastic or even wood are popular and hold up to a baby’s use. Some recent favorites from the Growing Readers Books of Excellence and Notables include: