The Benefits of Reading to Your Newborn

Many parents will wait before they start reading to their child until they’re at least a toddler. The perception is that it’s a waste of time to try and tell them a story when they don’t understand anything that you’re saying. This is perfectly logical, but as it turns out, there actually are some benefits to reading to a newborn that most of us are unaware of. Just a little bit of reading aloud every night, starting as soon as possible can be very impactful for a child’s development. Of course, it’s important to read the right books. Soon enough they will start taking the words in and you want them to be basic enough to ease them into actually talking. Also, picture books would be encouraged so that your baby has something to visually engage with too. So what are these benefits? Here’s a few of them:

Enhances Memory


Human interests develop through what we are exposed to, and those of us that are interested in reading tend to have stronger cognitive skills and memory than those of us who don’t. We are taking in information and trying to understand it.


If you expose your baby to reading at a very early age, that will generate interest in them, and they will grow up as someone who enjoys absorbing stories and information. Overtime, they will start to engage with certain words from the stories and pictures from the books.


These will become implanted in their brain and they will recognize them when they hear them again. This is strengthening their ability to recall. Memory is an important part of speech development and general learning. 


The transition for a child into communication and human interaction will run much more smoothly if said child has already worked on building up their memory. 


Grows Vocabulary


In the same vein, the more words they hear, the more words that they’re going to be able to replicate. As I said earlier, you need to start basic when reading to a child so that they won’t struggle to understand the stories, the more their language abilities develop.


And for children whose parents don’t read to them, the basic words don’t come quite as easy because they’re not being exposed to them in any kind of context. Words like Mom and Dad as well as the names of various household items are a good place to start, but you can speed through those things through reading.


Your baby will have been hearing words like that ever since they were a couple of weeks old and so they won’t struggle much with it and you can move onto more challenging speech and language.


There’s other important tricks that will help you grow a child’s vocabulary such as not dumbing down the language. Some parents while reading might replace a word with a sound a baby would recognize or a hand gesture. 


This is just discouraging from learning the word, so it’s not conducive to any kind of significant speech development.


Encourages Listening


Any parent will tell you that once that start being able to move around on their own, it becomes very difficult to get kids to listen to you. There’s a whole load of new possibilities open to them that they want to explore and they’ve got all of this energy all of a sudden.


And that’s not just going to be your problem, soon enough they’re also going to be heading off to school where it’s up to a teacher to try and get them to listen. Most teachers have effective methods but you want your child to be able to adapt to school with ease.


By reading to them, you will get them used to listening. More importantly, you will teach them to enjoy listening. They’ll look forward to sitting down with Mom or Dad and delving into a story through which they’ll learn and grow their mind.


It can help ease anxiety and discomfort for them too. If there’s something bothering them it can sometimes be hard to calm them down, but if they are used to listening to your voice and absorbing stories, just hearing you speak can work.


You should get yourself a baby monitor, one that has a two-way feature and give this a shot. If you hear your baby getting fussy in the middle of the night, start talking to them through the monitor, as if you’re telling a story.


They’ll feel like they’re sitting down reading with you, and it will ease their mind. In the future when you are teaching them some more important life skills, you’ll find them more receptive. I’m sure their teachers will appreciate it too!


Social Preparation


Babies need to prepared for interacting with people. Their relatives, their peers when they start school, everybody that they meet. It’s going to overwhelming for them, and especially so if they have trouble understanding people.


By reading to a newborn, you are helping to prepare them for conversations. Unfortunately, most of the talk that babies hear when they are very young is baby talk. You know how it is, for some reason people talk to babies like they are babies themselves.


It’s a strange phenomenon. I don’t really understand it and I certainly don’t think it’s helpful. I think it just gets in the way of children learning to properly socialize and have real conversations with people.


If we talk to our kids like we are actually trying to have a conversation with them, we are teaching them that that’s how they are supposed to speak. Reading to your kids is a great way to do this.


Getting your child from being a fresh, unassuming, empty vessel a thinking and functioning human being is not an easy process, but as you can see, there are a number of ways in which reading to them as a child can help with that.

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