The Kids Book Company Benefits: Newborn Reading
As we’ve discussed, no time is too early when it comes to reading to your little ones. Here are some benefits from reading to your newborn.
Reading aloud to your baby exposes him or her to the sound of your voice, something brand new babies find extremely soothing. New babies connect with you. They are unable to see in colour just yet, and are more evoked by moving objects, encouraging their eyes to focus. Basically, this makes YOU the best toy for your newborn.
Reading aloud exposes them to your voice. The changes in your face and movement of your lips is fun for your tiny one to watch, and the sharp contrast of your eyes to your skin is engaging. Some Behavioral Pediatrics have even found that reading to babies in the NICU can help parents develop the same feelings of intimacy that parents of healthy newborns cultivate in the days and weeks after a baby’s birth.
While its obviously your newborn won’t understand what you’re saying and won’t be following the story, he or she can still pick up on pitch change, voice tone, speed and other changes in your voice as you read. Making silly voices for characters is a great way to get your bub thinking. Research shows that the more words a baby is exposed to at a younger age, the better prepared he or she will be to start reading on his or her own.
Brain Power & Socialization
Studies have shown that children who were read to as newborns have a larger vocabulary, as well as more advanced mathematical skills than other kids their age. Reading at a young age develops crucial cognitive skills.
Reading aloud will engage the senses of your baby as well as exposing them to words and sounds, encouraging the brain to make pathways which in turn will allow your baby to sound out and speak far more efficiently. As you know – having the ability to sound out is key to reading…. So, the more your baby hears, the more they will know!
Reading from an early age encourages speech and language development, setting your little one up perfectly for kindergarten and pre-school. Language is a massive factor in communication and socialising, something your tot will need to make friends.
Helping your child socially is of course a massive benefit. While it’s great for little ones to be able to play by themselves, what’s crucial for emotional development is playing as a group – there they learn interpersonal skills such as picking up on body language and spoken language of others around them. That means, simply by speaking to and reading to your bub often, you’re setting them up nicely for life!
So, who’s seen the video of the mum singing to a very long baby, and the baby fills up with emotion and starts to shed a few tears? Firstly, it’s adorable. But secondly, what you’re seeing is the baby developing emotionally and picking up on natural voice changes as a result of human emotion. Naturally, the tone, pitch and speed of your voice changes with your emotions – this is something humans pick up on without realising. It’s actually a subconscious skill learnt from childhood.
Reading to your baby early on encourages this emotional development. Your baby is exposed to feelings through the different sounds you use when reading. This is where doing a silly voice for a specific character is really cool. Your baby will pick up on these changes and understand that the tone in your voice is linked to an emotion. Maybe the good guy in the book has a softer voice and the bad guy has a deeper voice.
Some professionals in the subject field have said babies of not pick up on these vocal changes and emotional links through recorded music and TV. So, get reading, or, get singing!
From 0 to 3 months, your baby will start focusing his or her eyes on simple patterns. So, you can read picture books and show your baby the different patterns and shapes in the book. Or you can be a bit more whacky and use your facial expressions and changes to encourage eye focus. Make up a story as you act out the words and characters using various facial expressions. Changing it up on a regular basis will ensure a variety of shapes and patterns will become familiar to your tiny human. Maybe even draw shapes on paper and sound them out as you go. Encourage use of the senses. Visual and Audio are great for newborns!