I’ve read to Spike since day one. I literally don’t think there has been a single day in her life that she wasn’t read to. At 6 months old I started reading the first Harry Potter book to her while she was snoozing on me. In fact, I even did a little bit of reading to her when I was pregnant. She developed a love for reading early on and days were spent reading books when she was a toddler. Now she’s learning to read herself, but I wanted to reminisce and share a bit about the reasons why reading to your baby is important.
Reading from an early age to develop a bond
Reading is beautiful way to bond with your baby. Carving out that time for you and baby to enjoy each others company and a good book carries on for years. Even now Spike likes our reading time. She’ll often sit next to me while Im reading and ‘read’ her own books. It’s a thing that she associates with me. And I love that. But even so, nothing beats me snuggling with her to read to her.
It boosts their learning
By reading to your baby early you help boost their brain power. They learn more about words and the way words go together. They develop a larger vocabulary and it even helps with learning maths and other skills. We’ve seen the vocabulary thing with Spike and she knows a lot about reading and excels in phonics but I didn’t know about the maths until recently. However her latest school report shows she’s excelling in that too so I don’t doubt it for a minute.
Learning about emotions early is always helpful. Your little ones are exposed to everything in the world very quickly and it can cause a lot of overwhelm even to Spike’s age. I have noticed, especially during lockdown, that Spike has been keen to discus the emotions of characters in books and talk more about why they feel a certain way and how we could help them feel better/differently. At an early age reading helps children process their own feelings and I think as they get older certain stories can help them understand how their own behaviour can affect others’ feelings too.
Reading as a fun past time
So reading is focused on throughout school as something that children must do. If you introduce it early, this won’t be seen as a chore at all. They will enjoy picking up a book. Though if your child is anything like Spike – they might not like the books that school set as they are a little boring sometimes! Spike’s school are really good though and see her reading her own books as practise enough.
Reading to a baby means you can still read in those early months
If reading is one of your favourite past times, then you are in luck. I really love reading and I missed reading as much as I did pre-Spike when she was born. Obviously I couldn’t read as much because I was reading out loud and it took longer. But it helped me stay in touch with my hobby, reading her Harry Potter. Babies don’t understand the actual words – they pick up the sounds etc of what you are reading. This means you don’t have to read just kids books.
I really loved sharing my favourite hobby with Spike when she was a baby and I love that it has grown into something she loves to do now too.