Reading to baby while pregnant can have many benefits for you as well as your baby. Take some time out of each week leading up to delivery to read to your bump. You’re not only introducing a great time for bonding, you’re laying the foundation for a habit that can benefit them the rest of their life!
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Reasons to read to your baby before they’re born:
Develop a stronger bond before birth. It can be hard to conceptualize the source of those kicks and pokes and morning sickness as a real person rather than an idea. This makes it difficult for some moms to connect with their child before meeting them. Reading to your baby helps encourage and solidify those bonds. The best part? Your partner can also join in, which gives them a rare opportunity to bond with your little one.
You’re starting a good habit. The best time to start reading to your child is yesterday. Reading with kids has been shown to improve language, school performance, and concentration. By starting early you are not only boosting those skills now, you’re laying the foundation to continue doing so once they’re older.
Get comfortable with reading out loud. Reading aloud is a skill that, like any other skill, gets better with practice. Sharpening that skill now means you’ll feel more comfortable when there’s a tiny person staring back at you.
Everything your baby hears becomes building blocks for language. Research shows that babies learn language in the womb as early as 30 weeks. While your little one will pick up on plenty just listening to you go throughout your day, adding in that extra exposure to words can do nothing but good.
Things to remember for reading to baby while pregnant:
Go with a meaningful book. Choose something from you or your partner’s childhood or another book that has meaning for you.
Pick something you LIKE. Now is not the time to labor through that children’s book you hate. That time will come, trust me. Find a page-turner or something funny that will keep you engaged and looking forward to reading.
Avoid anything too simple. Skip the one word per page alphabet books for now, and aim for something that uses complete sentences. You’re teaching your little one how to speak, after all.
Some book ideas to get you started:
- The Stephen Cosgrove Collection (Serendipity Series)
- Guess How Much I Love You
- Love You Forever
- Where the Wild Things Are
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
- The Giving Tree
- Have I Got a Book for You!
- The Monster at the End of This Book