I decided from about 5 months pregnant, that I’d start reading to my bump. I had already begun to talk to it because I’d read that your baby can hear your voice even when in the womb. I decided to read as well as talk because I wanted my baby to hear the different tones of my voice. I also thought that she might find it soothing. I know that she liked it because often when I’d begin to read, she’d move about and give me kicks. When my bump got really big, I massaged her feet through my tummy, as I read. I had read on a baby website that it is possible for your baby to remember a story that is read to them in the womb after they are born. I have to admit that I was a little sceptical about this but my scepticism made me more determined to give it a try. Now my baby is a couple of months old, I still read the same books as I did when I was pregnant (as well as others.) She absolutely loves me reading them, especially the Hungry Caterpillar, so maybe she does remember.
When I was pregnant, I knew that I wanted to use reading as a way to calm my baby before bed. It definitely works! I try to do it every night to help her to wind down before bed. I often read to her first thing in the morning as well; it’s a gentle way to wake her brain up. Reading is brilliant for bonding between me and my baby. It is also a lovely thing for my husband and close family members to do as well. If we spend a long time at my mum’s house, I always take along a collection of books for a bit of grandma and baby bonding time.
The first books that I bought for my baby were tactile. They didn’t have lots of words, but had lots of different materials inside for her to touch. I read that babies respond well to black and white because of the contrast between the two tones. I found some great black and white books on Amazon and my baby loved them for the first 2 months; she would stare at each page for ages! Now she is fascinated by colour and prefers busy illustrations.
I feel that reading is really important for my baby girl’s language development. Not only that, I am hoping that my enthusiasm for reading to her will rub off and ultimately give her a passion for books. I hope this is the start of a life long love of reading for her.