Bedtime stories for babies are an essential activity in early parenting due to their positive effects on their vocabulary development.
Out of the numerous things parents must do during the first months after childbirth, reading bedtime stories for babies is one of the most important.
Kids are very delicate beings who need a lot of care and affection during the early stages of life. So, in order to aid their development, reading is a vital part of that.
Here are some tips as to why reading newborn bedtime stories as early as possible is vital in parenting and how it affects a child’s development.
5 Benefits Of Bedtime Stories For Babies
- One of the essential benefits of parents reading newborn bedtime stories is that it helps build a strong relationship between them by creating a chance for them to have one-on-one interactions. Reading to newborns often will create a powerful bonding experience between them and their parents.
- Infants read to frequently develop stronger language skills as they grow than those who do not. They get familiar with sounds, words, and language, which helps build their early literacy skills. The more words a baby hears from bedtime stories, the more words they learn.
- Babies love and are attracted to very colorful books so reading to them from such books and showing them pictures of familiar things is one of the initial steps in teaching them about picture recognition.
- When you read to babies early on in their lives, it helps them grow to understand the value and importance of communication. It helps to stimulate babies’ imaginations about the world around them.
- A five minutes bedtime story read to babies also helps to cultivate their eagerness and interest in wanting to learn how to read.
Getting Your Baby’s Attention For Bedtime Story
Reading your baby bedtime stories can sometimes be daunting, especially when they won’t pay attention and get bored or concerned about something else.
However, there are a couple of strategies to get their attention during these bedtime stories.
Firstly, parents need to read slowly and pay special attention to each page. Doing this helps the baby focus on the words and the pictures on the page. Also, it is vital to turn the pages with your kid, to teach them how a book works.
Secondly, point out and name familiar or new things a baby sees on each page. Instead of just reading the words, point them out because the more words kids see and hear during their bedtime stories, the more they learn.
Thirdly, changing the tone of your voice as you read bedtime stories for babies is essential. It makes it easier for them to recognize different speech sounds, which is a vital asset in your baby learning how to make sounds.
Also, creating a unique reading space at home that is comfortable for both parent and baby is essential. So is making five-minute bedtime stories a routine and trying to read one book per day.
Lastly, it’s essential to turn off the TV, radio, or anything that might be a distraction during the five minutes bedtime stories. It increases the ability of your baby to concentrate on your voice.
It is also beneficial to hold your baby very close or on your knees so that they can see your face and the book as you read them bedtime stories. If even after all these steps your baby isn’t much interested in reading, download the Kinedu app and have a chat with our experts to understand what else you can do.
Age By Age Guide To Reading Bedtime Stories
0 to 6 months
During this period, parents should read from books made with a chunky board, soft fabric, or vinyl bath. This is because babies will want to touch the books and play with them, leading to them chewing on the book.
At this age, comprehension is not the most important part, so the best bedtime stories for babies are those with little or no text but predominantly feature high colorful pictures.
The vital thing is getting your kid to listen to your voice and have as much fun as possible.
7 to 12 months
At this stage, babies may begin to understand or mouth some of the words they’ve heard, like “mommy,” “daddy,” or “dog.” Getting bedtime stories with one object or person per page is the best at this point.
The key is to teach them to focus on a particular picture or word during the five minutes of bedtime stories. It is also important to point at the images they show interest in and act them out while also encouraging the child to try and pronounce them.
12 months to 18 months
By now, your baby might have developed a preference for a specific book or story, so at this point, it is important to start asking your toddler questions during bedtime stories and encourage them to point at the answers.
Bedtime stories with rhymes and repetitive phrases are essential at this stage to grab the attention of your kid. Toddlers this age also love animal books or books with pictures of other babies.
Parents can start making animal noises with their kids during the five-minute bedtime stories, and sooner or later, the baby will catch on.
18 months to 24 months
Introducing bedtime storybooks with longer stories is vital at this point, and so are humor and silly rhymes, which will keep them engaged. Also, kids can pick their favorite books and, while reading, pause and allow them to finish some sentences themselves.
24 months to 36 months
At this age, it is advisable to introduce your child to bedtime stories with regular pages but with humorous plots, fantastic rhymes, and illustrations. Asking relatable questions is also crucial to encourage the kids to think.
3 to 5 years old
Books that are fun to read aloud and can be memorized easily are very popular at this age. Also, parents need to pay attention to a kid’s favorite character and work around providing bedtime stories that feature the character.
Considering all these steps, some of the best bedtime stories for babies parents recommend are: “Clap Hands” by Helen Oxenbury, “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle.
There is also “Penguin” by Polly Dunbar, “Peace at Last” by Jill Murphy, “Shark in the Park” by Nick Sharratt, and “Peck Peck Peck” by Lucy Cousins, among others.
If you need more information on child development and literacy, download the Kinedu app to watch our classes or talk to our experts.