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Bedtime is a wonderful occasion to share and bond with your baby as he grows and matures. Bedtime stories and books provide a baby with a sense of security and routine. While impromptu reading is always encouraged whenever the child initiates it; reading before sleep is a particularly good time as a baby is typically quieter and able to sit for a longer periods. Oftentimes your child will want you to read the same story, over and over, which may seem annoying to you. Consider, not only is this consistency comforting to your child, but the repetition is how learning happens. Realize that children love routines and a reading ritual helps your child feel at ease. For young children, repetition is the spice of learning!
Scientific research proves that babies and children who are read to develop a love for literature and excel in other subjects as well. Reading baby books benefit your baby in many ways:
* Make reading fun by using different voices or inflections, being animated, and smiling as you read.
A great series of books for baby are the Baby Einstein books. These educational books offer very colorful, large, and almost animated pictures and words. This type of baby book is shown to enhance a baby's development and recognition of words and shapes. When babies are young, they only focus on lines, shapes, and colors. Most parents who purchase books in the Baby Einstein series provide strong supportive reviews. In general, reading to your baby gives them a head start in the learning process and instills a love of books and reading at a very young age.
Younger babies don't have a long attention span and may not quite get the concept of reading stories to them. However, they love the sound of your voice, so starting to read to them is never too early.
Get a couple of short books with little text and big colorful pictures. Read the book to baby before bedtime when she is relaxed and sleepy. As you read, show her the pictures on the pages so she can start relating your words to the book. Of course at first she won't know that you are reading a story to her, but if you keep doing this as she grows she will become accustomed to it and slowly start to correlate your reading to the story in the book.
This will also ensure that she will grow to like books and reading, something very important for young children in order for them to develop and learn vocabulary.
Toddlers are some of the busiest people on the planet. So, it is always a treasure when they slow down for a book cuddled on your lap. When read to regularly, children rapidly develop stronger language and speech pattern skills. To encourage consistent reading, here are some tips for more pleasure while reading with your baby:
By the age of two, most children experience a rapidly increasing vocabulary. Reading to your toddler daily expands this language development further. When choosing books and reading to your baby:
A great book that has been around for over 30 years is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This is a great book for babies and children. It is now available in many formats including in hard cardboard for small babies. The book is very colorful and some pages in it have holes to show where the caterpillar has eaten through. I always remember this book from when I was a small child (I actually still have it) and it seems to be a very popular one among many kids throughout the years.
You can also get Caterpillar plush dolls and they look exactly as the Hungry Caterpillar looks in the book. I have bought two different versions of them for my baby daughter; one as a plain plush doll and another as a soft toy that has teething rings and scrunchy parts for her to squeeze. She loves them both. I have also read her the book many times and she really enjoys having it read to her.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|