Read to your Baby
You are your baby’s first teacher! From the moment a baby is born, they are ready to learn, and they begin to understand language long before they begin to speak. Very young children acquire knowledge through all of their senses – sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. Reading to your baby helps foster brain development and early literacy skills.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that pediatricians prescribe reading activities to children at their well visits and strongly recommends reading daily to babies from six months of age.
Here’s what we know:
Babies begin to learn about language from birth. Reading aloud exposes your child to the sounds of human speech.
By the age of two, children know between 300-500 words. Children who are spoken to and frequently read to have larger vocabularies and develop into better readers.
Sharing books with your baby lays the foundation for learning to read.
Help your baby:
- Attend Babytime at the Ferguson Library.
- Allow your baby to explore board books or soft, vinyl books. Babies often learn about their world by chewing on things – sometimes reading looks like chewing!
- Point to different things in the book and name them.
- Your baby loves the sound of your voice, sing aloud and be proud. Nursery rhymes and songs are fun at any time – in the car, at bath time, at mealtime – and help develop language skills.
- Use different voices when you read to your child. Give different characters different voices and make the sound of the animals that your baby sees.
- Ask your baby questions about what’s happening on the page, such as “Where is the cow?”. Pause, then point and answer for the baby, “Oh, there’s the cow!”
- Have fun! Relax and enjoy this special time with your baby. If you’re not in the mood, or your baby is cranky or distracted, then it’s not the time to share a book.
Babies Like Books with:
- Photos of other babies
- Clear pictures of familiar things in their world
- Lots of rhythm and repetition
- Animals and animal sounds
- Textures. Touch-and-feel books are great