One of my earliest memories as a child was sitting on a wooden porch swing with my mom reading books.
My mom says she started reading to me from day one, and even read to her belly while she was pregnant. Needless to say, books have always held a very important place in our home. When Aaron was born, we started reading to him right away too.Paul even read him a book or two while we were still in the hospital.In the beginning, we had some children’s books, but we would also read aloud whatever each of us happened to be reading at the time.Aaron heard a little Harry Potter and some Bicycling magazine, and even a few academic studies that I had to read for work.
These days, his favorites range from the classics like Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are, to some quirky titles like Aliens Love Underpants. As I read to Aaron now, I often wonder how much the baby is hearing and taking in.Doctors tell us that babies in the womb hear conversations as early as 24 or 25 weeks, so I’m pretty sure she’s getting her daily dose of stories too.
Reading is a tradition I’m excited to carry on with our new little girl.It’s natural to me, and the sound of a familiar adult voice seems to have soothing qualities for even the tiniest newborns. So last week, when a friend passed along a book to me about the benefits of reading to children, I was eager to learn about the tangible benefits.
The book is called Reading Magic by Mem Fox, a literacy education teacher from Australia.It makes the case that reading aloud to children from day one helps them develop an interest in books before they reach that stage of mobility and curiosity when it’s so much tougher to sit still.It also encourages those first words and sentences, inspires them to learn to read themselves, and creates a special bond between child and parent – positive impacts that we’ve certainly seen first-hand in our home.
So while this might seem like a more appropriate topic for a blog about older babies or even toddlers, I’m excited to snuggle up with our new little girl for some story-time right away.Anticipating those first bonding moments is my favorite part about this stage of pregnancy!