Submitted by missusbee5
How young is too young?
You can never start establishing a daily reading time too early. Many of us have heard of reading to babies in the womb or have even done it ourselves. So, it is never too early. Reading books at bedtime is a good habit to form so that reading will be a part of every day life. Even an infant can become accustomed to such a routine. If reading is a part of a baby’s daily routine, it will continue to be that way as they grow up.
What if they don’t seem interested?
If and infant or toddler doesn’t seem interested, it’s okay. The important thing is that you set the pattern and you don’t give up. Persistence and patience will pay off and soon your baby will learn to enjoy this special reading time.
What if I can’t get through an entire book?
It doesn’t matter if you read every word in the book. Attempt reading the book to them, but don’t force it. Sometime just looking at the book and discussing the pictures is more appropriate. Let them interact by turning pages at will and talking (jabbering) about the book. When and if they become agitated, it’s time to put the book away and make another attempt later.
How much time should I spend reading to my baby?
For the most part, the younger the child, the shorter their attention span is. However, every child is different. But, as a rule of thumb, you can try one minute per day for every month they have been alive. So, at 12 months you could try reading to them for 12 minutes per day. But 12 minutes all at once might overwhelm some and not be enough for others. Try breaking it up if it seems too long. If you just need a place to start, you can use this rule; but don’t feel like you have to enforce it. Also, it would probably only work up to about 3 years of age for most children. The exact amount of time is not as important as the consistency of reading every day. So if you don’t have 36 minutes to read to your 3 year old, then read to them for 5 minutes.
When should I encourage independent book time?
You can give them a cloth or board book at around 5 or 6 months old. They will begin by picking it up and putting it in their mouths. Soon they will become interested in the pictures and begin to notice and become familiar with the letters on the book. They will also begin to develop certain motor skills, such as turning pages. Encouraging independent book time allows the baby to become familiar with books and develop motor skills and coordination.
In a Nut Shell
Consistency and familiarity at an early age are keys to developing an interest in reading that will likely carry on as they grow up.