Reading To Your Baby: When To Start?

Reading a book to your newborn is a one-on-one activity that you can really turn into a special time with your baby.

Reading is always something I have thoroughly enjoyed. English was my favourite subject in school and I went on to pursue a career in writing as a result. There is something magical about the way a book can capture your attention like nothing else. It transports you away from your current state and fills your imagination with emotion, colour and vitality.

Then there is my phone. The addiction as I like to call it. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and now Snapchat are all beeping at me with a sense of urgency. I have sat down with the sole intention of reading my book and have ended up scrolling through news feeds for far too long. I now have to physically put my phone into a drawer when I want to read a book. That's the modern era for you.

I want my children to enjoy reading as much as I did as a child. That's really important to me. I want this for lots of different reasons. Firstly I want them to experience that joy. I loved going to massive book shops and picking out a new book. A book that was so perfect in its form. I loved the smell, the bag it came in and the feeling of having something so new and delicate. It's a really fond memory from my childhood. I still get that feeling now as an adult and it's very special.

Secondly, I want my children to have access to this level of imagination. Isn't it a wonderful thing to be transported to a different era, country or emotion by simply flicking a page? As an adult, it now helps me deal with any stress I am experiencing. I immerse myself into a new book and my attention is better spent on the character. My worries fade away. I want to give my children that joy.

Lastly, it definitely can't hurt their studies and education. Reading has been proven to help our vocabulary, concentration and sense of creativity. All good things in my world. I want my children to benefit from all of these things.

So when is the right time to introduce the idea of books to your child? The experts say that it is never too early. Your newborn may not understand the words you are saying but the sense of animation alongside visuals is something that will aid them in so many ways. 

They'll begin to pick up the rhythm, tones and inflexions of your voice! Your baby is exposed to feelings through the different sounds you use when reading, whether it's doing a voice for a specific character or describing what's going on in the book. So get ready to break out your copy of Goodnight, Moon and enjoy this ritual with your newest addition. 

Have you started to read to your baby yet?

Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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