Recent 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 aloud to your baby exposes the baby to the sound of your voice, which is soothing for him. For an adopted baby, reading aloud allows your baby to become increasingly familiar with your voice which aids in the attachment and bonding process.
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Great Books to Read to Your Baby
It really doesn’t matter what books you read to your baby. Your baby will not understand the words you are reading. The idea is really that they consistently hear the sound of your voice and associate that voice with safety and their needs being met. Your baby will, however, appreciate the cadence of the words and the sing-song rhyming sounds of certain stories. Choosing books to read to your baby does not have to be complicated. Choose anything that appeals to you. These are a few of our family favorites:
Goodnight Moon is a truly a classic. The quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day.
The Runaway Bunny is about a little bunny who keeps running away from his mother in this imaginary game of hide-and-seek. Children will be profoundly comforted by this lovingly steadfast mother who finds her child every time.
I Love You Forever is one of our all time favorite books. Our older children still love the story and quote it often. It is the story of a mother who holds her baby as a newborn and as he grows.
Baby Signs is often the first exposure our children have to sign language. We started teaching our children to sign when our middle daughter was born with significant heart defects that slowed her development. This book became instrumental again when we adopted our medically fragile daughter who had no communication skills.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is our sweet Phoebe‘s favorite book. It’s sing-song text and large bold animal pictures make this book so appealing. It is also useful for identifying animals, colors and animal sounds.
The rhythm and rhyme make The Foot Book a favorite with babies and toddlers. In fact, you really can’t go wrong with Seuss.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is for babies and beyond. Toddlers learn to count and identify colors and older children see the metamorphosis of the caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. I have even seen Hungry Caterpillar toys in the dollar bins at Old Navy and Target.
Remind your baby how much you love him every time you read this classic. I caught our older daughters reading this book to our youngest one day. It has such a sweet story. Kids will remember it always!
We read to our children, even before they are born. More importantly, we read to them from the time they are born until, well, we are still reading aloud to the teens in our home. Beginning to read to our children early on made it easy to carry over read aloud time into our homeschool when they were older. Now, reading time is special family time that we all look forward to.
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