Reading With Babies
Early Brain and Language Development
At birth a baby has all the brain cells they need for life, but they need to develop the connections (or synapses) between these cells. These connections are the keys to learning.
The brain’s ability to grow these connections is greatest between birth and age three. Reading to a child from birth provides the sights, sounds, and touch that will help the brain develop.
Reading and singing to a baby also helps develop important physical and emotional bonds. Holding and cuddling a baby provides comfort.
Babies learn language by hearing language and they can hear from seven months in utero. Sharing songs, stories and nursery rhymes throughout the day calms, entertains and helps build language and writing skills. From birth babies love to focus on bright, bold pictures in books.
Starting early with books gives babies the best possible start in life!
Why Read to Babies?
- Babies love to be held and cuddled, it makes them feel safe and loved
- Babies need to hear language to learn language and they love to hear the sound of your voice.
- Babies love to look at the bright, bold images in books.
- Babies love stories with repetition, rhyme and bounce in the language.
- Early exposure to books and reading builds important pre-reading skills.
How to Read to Babies
- Make time to read, sing, talk and cuddle every day.
- Change your voice as you read and have fun with the words.
- Talk about the pictures in the book and tell your own stories.
- Your baby loves to hear your voice, so you can read almost anything to them.
- Have books all over your home - on bookshelves, in baskets, in toy boxes.
- Visit your local library for books and baby programs. To find a library in your area, visit: http://publiclibraries.ns.ca