Reading to Your New Born
Ever since I posted this picture from when by daughter was two weeks old, I have had a number of mums ask me – “Did you really start reading Roald Dahl to your child right when she was born?” “What is the point of reading to a new born? They don’t even understand what we say.”
First things first, yes I did begin reading Roald Dahl to my child from the day we brought her home from the hospital. However, we moved on to more age relevant books as she grew older to support her own curiosity for colours, pictures, sounds and words. What I am really trying to say is that, I wasn’t reading Matilda to Baby A to create a child prodigy that is reading novels by the time she is 4. I simply brought out this book from my shelf, because it was one of my childhood favourites.
Then Why Not Read Dr. Suess?
Honestly, I would have read anything to my child then as long as the content in the book, magazine or newspaper was good enough and easy on the child’s ears. For the first few weeks (or even months) of a baby’s life, their vision is still developing. This means that picture books are of little use to them. However, what really comforts them during those uncertain sleepless days and nights is the voice of the parents.
When it comes to reading to your child, it is never too early. It is a known fact that babies recognize the voices of their mothers in the womb. So, anytime between your little bean starts growing in your tummy to now is a good time to start reading aloud to them.
My new born doesn’t seem to care when I read to him
Your baby may not understand the words you reading out to him. He may not even look in your direction while you speak for the first few weeks, but simply hearing your voice will stimulate an interest in different sounds and help your baby develop critical listening skills.
For Baby A’s papa and me, bringing out a novel the length of Matilda simply gave us enough content. It didn’t take us long to realize that there are only these many songs you can make up, and these many words you can come up when baby talking. Reading a book to my daughter at 2 AM when she refused to acknowledge night from day, helped all three of us stay calm within our own respective swaddles and blankets while having some great content to survive those sleepless nights.