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10 Proven Reasons Why You Should Speak and Read to Your Baby

Most paediatricians are in agreement that it is never too early to start reading to your baby. But reading to them isn’t everything – even just talking to your baby will help them to develop, and get them used to the rhythms and cadences of the human voice.

Here are 10 simple steps you can take to help your baby on the road to literacy, and an outline of the benefits they can bring:

1. Make sure you spend time talking, reading and singing to your baby. The more you speak directly to your baby, the better it is for their overall development.

2. Start reading early and often to your child. Even though you might think a baby is too young to understand what you are reading, reading to them can have a beneficial effect, as they love listening to the human voice.

3. Talk to your baby or toddler when you bathe them, change their nappy, and feed them. This gets them used to language and everyday conversation.

4. As well as reading to your baby, it is good to start by singing them songs, nursery rhymes and lullabies. This gets them used to patterns of sounds and allows them to start associating language and learning with the security of their parents’ voices.

5. When you read to them, let your baby turn the pages – this gives them a sense of involvement, as well as letting them know that we read from left to right.

6. Read often to your baby, but keep it brief, as their attention span at this age is extremely short.

7. When you read to your baby, hold their attention by pointing out characters and objects in the pictures.

8. Following the words with your finger as you read them allows your baby to get an idea of word order.

9. When your baby is around 6 months old, start introducing him to simple, brightly coloured illustrated books, which will hold his attention. ‘Touch and feel’ books are great as they require more use of the senses, and so provide more of a learning experience.

10. Try to read books with plenty of rhymes in them. Children respond well to rhymes, as they memorize them and expect to hear the words repeated.

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