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It’s amazing to witness the changes your baby goes through from birth. At an early age, your baby may not understand everything you do or say. However, the activities that you do together help your baby grow, learn and develop. Reading to your baby is one such wonderful activity that helps your baby’s brain development and should be continued through your baby’s growing years.
If you are a first-time parent, you may be wondering when exactly you should begin reading books to your baby and how reading can help your baby. Worry not, read on to understand how books are your baby’s ticket to brain development.
Although you feel your baby is too young to understand a story, she will definitely enjoy your company and hearing your soothing voice. Research shows that reading books to your baby during early infancy has a lasting positive effect on your baby's language skills.
Reading to your baby has the following benefits:
a. Birth to six months:
Reading at this age is more about bright faces, colours, and patterns. Choose board books or books with vinyl or cloth backs as your baby may chew on them. Books with minimal text and high-contrast pictures or even sounds are perfect for this age.
A few books recommended for 0-to 6-month-old babies are:
b. Six to 12 months:
Your baby now makes a grab for the book or responds by making sounds as you read. Your baby even shows a preference for certain books, stories pages, or pictures over others. By year one, your baby will be eager to turn the pages herself and point at objects in the book.
These are a few books recommended for 6- to 12-month-olds:
c. 12 to 18 months:
At this age, babies love to see pictures of other babies and animals. Grab their attention by making animal sounds as you read. Pause to ask simple questions ("Where’s the kitten?") and wait to see if your baby responds. Introduce lift-the-flap books and books with textures (soft, crinkly, scratchy) to your curious toddler.
A few books recommended for 12- to 18-month-olds:
d. 18 to 24 months:
As your baby labels things with simple sounds (such as a moo on seeing a cow’s picture), you can start including longer stories with humour and silly rhymes. Stop from time to time to let your baby repeat his or her favourite line in the story. Encourage your baby’s growing independence by allowing him/her to turn the pages.
Here are a books recommended for 18-to 24-month-olds:
e. 24 to 36 months:
Now use books with regular pages that have stories with an engaging plot. This is when your toddler will want the same book and a repeat of the same story again and again. Your baby will also love to look at illustrations of different vehicles and books that discuss seasons or jobs (such as the postman or doctor) as he/she develops an understanding of the world.
These are a few books recommended for 24-to 30-month-olds:
And the books recommended for 30-to 36-month-olds are:
Read books to your baby every day, before a nap or at bedtime. You may also read these when your baby is alert, dry, and has been fed. Choose books wisely according to your baby’s age and interests and enjoy some lovely bonding time together.
For more tips and an expanse of stories age-appropriate and perfect for your little one, get the BabyG App today!