When Should You Start Reading To Your Child?
Parents should start reading to their children as soon as they are born. Holding your baby and reading helps a child learn language and assists with the parent/child bonding experience. The habit of reading supports building a routine before bedtime; when bedtime is fun, your child may have less anxiety when it comes to time to go to sleep.
From birth to age 6 months, it may not seem like your child understands what you are reading. However, the sound of a parents' voice and a soft book that a baby can grab and chew builds excitement and joy. Black and white patterns may help with the development of a baby's brain through adequate stimulation. Baby's love to look at high-contrast black and white patterns to attract their attention and focus.
From 6 - 9 months, your child may start to recognize a favorite book. They may begin to open and close the book and point at various illustrations that capture their attention.
When your child starts to get older, around 9-18 months, a simple story can become more interactive by asking your child to point to a specific picture like a sun or a moon. At this age, children love pictures of animals and babies; they also love stories with rhymes and phrases that may capture their attention.
Around the age between 18-24 months, your child is starting to run around and get into things; you can begin to introduce longer stories and ask your child to moo like a cow or hop like a rabbit, you may also want to instruct your child to turn each page as you are reading to them. Reading a book to your child can help them to think and learn language skills.
From 24-36 months, your child may be more interested in longer stories that discuss occupations or sequences of events. You can begin to interact by asking how your child thinks the character felt in the story or what they think can happen next. Children at this age love repetition, so reading the same book over again is a common occurrence.
Reading to your child, in general, helps parents and children to connect on a deeper level while aiding in building language skills.