It’s essential to lay an early foundation to reading for your baby as it helps in their intellectual and emotional growth, besides starting the process of learning early on.
It’s never too early to introduce your babies to books as newborns also love high contrast pictures and therefore books with black & white pictures work amazingly well for them. It is important to introduce babies to books in the first year as it helps stimulate their senses. Reading to a baby helps them understand that different sounds have different meanings. Pictures provide visual stimulation and also helps them connect objects from the book to objects in real life.
I introduced Tania to books at the age of 3 months, where all she did was put the book in her mouth. However, my endevour was to get her to like books and make story time fun. Hence I let her play around with books so that she built a happy association with them. I would let her play with her books several times a day and read to her just for a few minutes initially.
Its not always easy to get your infant to start liking books so one must start slowly. You can prop your infant on your lap, holding the book about 12 inches away from her face and then let her see the pictures while you read. Use a high pitch and expressive sound while reading so that she can relate to the different sounds of language. Repetition of certain words is also useful and that helps in building your baby’s language skills.
Don’t ever force your baby into reading. Allow her to play with the book, touch the pictures and just hold the book. She will also learn to turn pages at around 8-9 months of age. Ensure that you use books made of sturdy material like board books, cloth books or plastic books.
Different varieties of books are available for babies. One can start with black and white picture books which are ideally suited to newborns. Then moving on noisy books, touch and feel books and bath books.
Black & White Books
Touch and Feel Books