Reading to your baby can be an art. Some simple techniques that can enhance and encourage reading skills in your baby include reading aloud, making rhythmic sounds and engaging your baby more in the activity.
Read aloud with lots of expressions and modulate your voice. This helps your baby to relate to the emotion that is associated with that type of sound.
Rhythmic sounds and story telling.
Sing to your baby or make animal noises while reading and enacting them can be great fun for your baby Wander away from the exact text if that makes the story more interesting.
Encourage the feel factor.
By the age of twelve months your baby begins to reply to your queries by pointing out pictures, objects etc in the book. Encourage your baby to hold the book and look at it. Start asking questions about familiar things.
Babies love repetitions.
Your baby may want you to read the same book over and over again. Go on with it as babies love repetitions. The sounds that you make while reading a particular book, or the song you sing while reading a rhyme, may actually be fascinating for your baby. In fact, in this way she is likely to pick up that song or the story very soon.
Reading together is a bonding time.
Connect with your baby while reading. One way to do so can be holding her close to you while reading. This also makes your baby feel safe, warm and comfortable and help in increasing her attention span.
Set a separate reading time.
There is no set rule as to when you can read to your baby. However, planning out a separate reading time on a daily basis is likely to enhance your baby’s reading abilities when she grows up. For instance, you can try reading before the afternoon nap or at bedtime. If your baby wants you to read during other times of the day, encourage it.
Initiate the habit of reading in your baby. Through colours, rhymes and sounds you can introduce your baby to the many pleasures of the world of book. Remember, reading is not just a learning curve, it can become a lifelong pleasure for your baby.
Different types of books for different age groups.
At different ages, babies tend to treat books differently.
- A 4 month old baby may just be able to grasp the book by the pages or the cover. She may just take a look at it, or do things like trying to put it in the mouth or throw it away
- A 8 month old baby, who is more interested in what you are reading to her. She may also take a look at the book and try to draw your attention towards her favourite things in the book
- At the age of 1 year your baby may be able to turn the pages of the book if they are thick enough. She can also become more interested in the stories themselves
- By the age of 18 months, your baby is able to search, point out and name familiar objects in the book