If you've already had your baby shower, you likely now have a stack of kids books as high as your crib. You may be wondering, "When can I start reading to my baby?" The act of reading with your kid, no matter the age, is a unique bonding experience you'll remember for the rest of your life. Even if your newborn doesn't understand what you're saying, why not start now?
Will Your Newborn Understand?
In the first weeks of your baby's life, they won't be understanding the finer points of the books you're reading. In fact, they really won't understand anything at all. While they may not appreciate the plots of the stories, there are still plenty of benefits to reading to a newborn.
Soothing a Fussy Baby
The biggest benefit to reading for both parent and newborn is the soothing properties it can have on your baby. Listening to your voice softly read aloud can have a calming effect. If you're at your wit's end trying to get your little one to sleep through the night, bust out the reading materials and see if that works.
Shapes and Colors
Although your newborn won't know what you're saying as you read aloud, that doesn't mean they won't get anything out of the experience. Reach for board books for the youngest readers. Baby's eyes aren't adept at seeing words or complicated pictures yet, but bright colors and sound-makers are just their speed.
Nothing Beats Your Time and Attention
Bonding with your baby is so important even from the first moment they enter your arms. Even though a newborn won't get out of the book what they will as they get older, those bonding moments are priceless. Whether you're reading a board book or even from your favorite novels for adults, the act of nurturing your baby with attention, voice, and touch will create a lasting bond.
How Often You Should Read to Your Newborn
In the first weeks and months of your baby's life, your main focus will be on whether they're happy, healthy, and fed. If those needs are met, then you've got the green light to read to your newborn as much as you want. Like is the case with most parenting insights, there are few wrong answers.