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Reading to newborn Lock Rss

Hi brett and belinda gasp) My son was born 6 weeks ago, and I am very keen to encourage reading and a love of books right from the beginning. Following advice in books I have read about babies, I have already been reading to him, sometimes from children's books I have from when I was young, and also from books that I am reading myself. I was wondering what your recommendations are for the best kinds of books to start off with - obviously at the moment he is not understanding any words and is only just starting to become interested in the pictures, but I would like to facilitate an interest in reading even from this early age and would appreciate any advice you can give me on how best to do this. Thanks in anticipation, Belinda
Dear Belinda

Babies love bright colours, the rhythm of words and being held close so reading from the day your child is born provides clear and measurable benefits for your child’s development. Babies are born wired to learn language and the first twelve months are crucial to getting your child off to a flying start. Research has shown that babies and children below the age of two prefer books to screens so this is the time to make the most impact you can so that your child will always have books as a regular option.

Most child reading advocates recommend starting out with books that have bold and very bright pictures. You might find the most beneficial pictures are ones that your baby is familiar with so think about your home and your baby’s surroundings when choosing books. Keep plenty of books around in various formats, cloth, board, bath and regular paperback. By making books readily accessible, a part of your everyday and also lots of fun, your child will build a positive and enjoyable relationship with books. Books will come to represent opportunity, companionship, games and fun – all these characteristics are helping to lay the foundations for a love of books and reading.

All that said be careful not to overwhelm your child or turn books and reading into a chore. I have spoken with parents who have followed all these instructions and have had great success with one child but not with another child only to discover that it was more about timing. Be patient and know that your baby may take a few years to fully engage with books. If you are lucky the outward signs will be more obvious earlier.

Lastly, reading to your child provides reassurance, comfort and time listening to the rhythm of your voice. Sharing time and creating opportunities to share a story with your child is also about discovering and learning what it is that interests and excites them. Be receptive to the sounds and images that appeal to your baby and use your own story skills to spin-off your own stories that take in things that are familiar to your child. In this way books are a springboard for you both.

Best of luck
Brett

<a href="http://www.myfirstbookshelf.com.au/">My First Bookshelf</a>
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