Reading to Infants – The Benefits of Starting Early

Did you know that the simple act of reading to your baby can have profoundly positive affects on both her intellectual and emotional development?

Reading to infants is one of the best, and cheapest, ways to bond to your little one and help her developing brain to grow. For a baby, plot and drama don’t matter. Reading is more about the gentle vibrations of your voice, the warmth of your breath as you cuddle her close. Reading to babies delivers a soft comfort, the rhythmic sounds will both sooth and stimulate.

How early should reading begin, and what are the overall benefits of starting early?

Some mothers read to their children while still in the womb. Though exaggerated theories have been formed about this, reading inutero definitely fosters voice recognition and provides a sense of comfort to the baby. In cases where mothers repeatedly read the same passages over months, babies after birth would calm down and listen when the familiar sounds began.

Hearing the mother’s voice speaking can allow the child to become accustomed to recognizing that voice, as well as to learn the undertones and recognize the feelings lying beneath the tone in which something is said. Voice inflection can also make an infant and young child become a better reader because he or she will, in turn, learn to read with inflection.

Scientific studies investigating the value of fun, early reading experiences for children have shown that being read to will positively affect a child’s level of intelligence, trust, and strengthen their social aptitude as they grow and develop.

Kid’s books are made for all ages, from infants onward, although mothers who are concerned with voice recognition and the calming effects of reading need not be concerned with what they read to their infants. You can read the phone book if that’s all you have! What’s important is the calmness of your voice and the simple verbalization of sounds. For really little babies, merely repeating a few words with a sweet, soothing tone can be beneficial.

By reading to infants, we begin education early. Fun times with a book help children learn to listen, build longer and stronger attention spans. Reading helps them understand language at an earlier age. Just a few minutes a day of light reading can also improve your infant’s ability to concentrate and absorb information at a higher rate, causing improvements in intelligence.

Most of all, reading to an infant can have a calming effect. Often, it doesn’t matter if you are reading kid’s books, poetry, Shakespeare, or the TV Guide – the sound of a soft, soothing voice reading will often calm an infant who is crying, feeling ill, or having trouble sleeping, helping him or her to relax. This is due in part to the relaxation felt by the party doing the reading through the simple task of reading the material, where little skill is required.

As you can see, reading kid’s books to infants can have a great effect on both their disposition as a baby, as well as their social, intellectual, and emotional aptitude in the future. One of the best things you can do for your infant is to simply read aloud for a few minutes every day, improving knowledge and concentration ability and giving them a better foundation to build on.