Reading to babies
(Author Ms.Nithya Ramachandran - Montessori Guide and Consultant)
Reading to a newborn baby might sound absurd. You might be wondering – but do they even understand what I am saying? Aren’t they too young for this? Do they need this right now? Can’t books wait until later?
Unconventional though as it may sound, babies really enjoy books – if the right book is read to them in the right way and at the right time. The way a baby experiences your read aloud might not look like how their older sibling responds to you, however, be assured that they are absorbing things in their own way, and it has myriad benefits for them and your relationship with them.
You may even begin reading to your baby even while they inside the womb. Research shows that the sense of hearing develops in-utero, at around 7 months. When you read to your baby in-utero, they get used to your voice and it serves as a point of comfort after birth. Your voice and the book will be familiar and calm the baby when they are overwhelmed by the new world they have come into.
You may begin reading to your baby even while they are inside the womb, Around 7th Month of pregnancy
Choose any book that soothes you and comforts you – perhaps your favourite children’s book, or a book that you would want to read to you child once they are born. At this stage, it isn’t so much about the visuals or design but your tone and volume that’s important while you read.
Just read out loud whenever you are comfortable or whenever you feel your baby is most active. You can also ask a sibling or your partner to read to the baby. Different family member can take turns doing this. You can even make it into a bedtime ritual that can continue even after the baby is born.