It's never too early. Babies recognize their mother's voice in the womb — so why not make reading aloud a habit while you're still pregnant?
And once your baby arrives, reading to your newborn is a must. Your baby won't understand your words, but hearing your voice stimulates an interest in sounds and helps him develop listening skills.
Plus, no matter what your baby's age, reading together is a great opportunity for cuddling and bonding. By developing a regular reading routine from the start, books become a natural part of your child's day — one that he'll associate with fun.
* Why is reading good for my baby?
Reading to your baby helps build vocabulary, stimulates imagination, and improves communication skills. The more you speak to your child from the get-go, the better it is for her growth and development.
A running commentary on the state of the neighborhood during a walk or naming your child's body parts as you bathe her are good ways to talk to her. Reading is another way to increase the verbal interactions you have with your child.
Reading to your baby introduces her to the concepts of stories, numbers, letters, colors, and shapes, and gives her information about the world around her. It also builds memory and vocabulary skills. By the time she's a year old, your baby has already learned all the sounds she needs to speak her native language. The more words she hears, the better she'll be able to talk.
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