Baby · Life At Home

Tips For Reading With Your Baby

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One of the most important things you can do with your child is read. Read anything and everything. Read them books, read cereal boxes, read signs, read menus, read, read, read.

Why read if they don’t even understand? Why try if they won’t stay seated? Sometimes it almost seems pointless with a toddler or a baby.

I promise you it is far from pointless.

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Why you should be reading with your child:

It introduces them to a world of new ideas.

From shapes and colors, to letters and numbers books provide children with a wealth of knowledge in print form.

It helps to teach your child about communication.

When they see a word and hear you say it, it shows them what reading is all about.

Reading builds many skills for your child.

It helps build listening skills as you read aloud to them, and vocabulary skills as they begin understanding these new words. Reading books over again may build memory skills with common words or phrases.

It gives children information about the world around them.

From different places, to unique machines, and exotic animals reading can provide information to your child that they may not learn about otherwise.

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Tips for reading with your child:

For young children find books with bright colors, and little words.

Allow them to really take in simple pages at a time.

Find fun books with different textures or feelings.

Maybe there is something soft on one page, and something bumpy on another. Keep your child engaged and connected to the book with the sense of touch.

Find interactive books for young children that need more engagement.

Pop-up books are great for reading with young children, or find books that have pages that open up to something hiding. They are interactive and will hopefully keep the child engaged for a little longer.

Read aloud to your child with expression.

If there is a small character use a high voice. If there is a large character using a low voice. If there is a rhyme, say it in a song. Keep it light and fun.

Point to the words as you read.

When you point to the words as you read you show baby that when you read you are speaking the words that are written on the pages. They will eventually learn to do this too.

It’s okay if they chew.

It’s fine if the younger children chew on books because that it how they learn, but don’t encourage it. Hopefully they will soon learn that books are not edible!

Don’t be afraid to read the same books over again.

Young children love repetition and might love hearing the same book over and over again. It will help them learn phrases, and will help with their reading fluency.

Snuggle up.

Cuddling or holding your child while you read creates a warm environment for reading.

It’s okay to not finish a book.

It is completely fine if you don’t finish an entire book when you read with your child. In fact, you probably won’t! If they just want to flip through the pages, or they are finished halfway through the book, it is okay. They are still getting small doses of reading at a time and learning how reading works, and that is better than nothing at all.

Ask questions.

Ask your child questions while you read. Things like, “What is the girl holding? A ball! You know what a ball is!” Try to connect it to their life. Using pictures can be a huge help.

Read every day.

Try to get into the habit of reading every day. It will show children that reading is important, and that we use our reading skills every day.

Have fun!

Make reading fun any way you can! Sing, dance, clap your hands, make noises, whatever it takes to have a good time while you read with your child.

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Baby

To My First Born

You will never know the special place you hold in my heart, my first born. It doesn’t matter how many children I have, there is one spot in my heart that is saved specifically for you. This does not mean that you will be my favorite, and it certainly does not mean that I will love you more. It means that you and I will have a bond that none of my other children and I will share. I know I will hold a strong attachment to them in someway as well. But you, my dear, you are my first born.

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You made me a mother.

You are the first person to give me the greatest title I’ve ever received, “mom”. I always wanted to be a mother, and you made that happen.

I will have more children, and I will also be their mother, but it was you who put me through the initiation.

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You’ve taught me so much.

I knew nothing about raising a baby before you came along. Literally nothing. I was so scared. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. “How will I know how much she needs to eat? Is she going to be warm enough in this? Is it okay if her poop is this color?” It was a new and challenging time for both of us.

You made it easy, and slowly we figured out things together.

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You introduced me to all the wonderful things about motherhood.

Watching you grow was the greatest thing I’ve ever witnessed. Every small thing you did I celebrated. It was so exciting to see a child discover the world around them daily, and you were able to give me that excitement for the very first time. I know I will be just as excited when my other children have their first accomplishments as well, but you introduced me to how truly remarkable a growing baby can be.

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You introduced me to the tough things about motherhood.

There were times when I was lost. Times I just didn’t know how to make you happy. There were days that we both just sat there and cried and neither of us knew what to do. I felt like I wasn’t doing anything right. We made it, though. We’ve made it through everything together, and it’s made us stronger. Maybe you’ve even paved the way for the next child so things won’t be as hard for me the second time around.

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You’ve made me appreciate others.

Even though you were an easy baby, you were still a lot of work. You made me appreciate the family and friends that were constant supports whenever I needed them.

You showed me a new side of my parents as you gave them this new title, grandparents. You helped me to appreciate the way they raised me as I began to raise my own little human.

You made me look at my husband as not only the man I married, but this wonderful new father, whom I saw in a new light. We became a stronger team, having to make decisions and come up with new ideas together for you.

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You showed me how to love in a completely different way.

I never knew how much I could love something until you came around. It was like a different part of my heart that I didn’t even know existed opened up to love this tiny baby more than I have ever loved anything. I feel like I can love more, and I feel like I can love harder.

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Thank you, my first born. Thank you for entering my life and changing it completely for the better. I will never be able to explain the place you hold in my heart, and just how deeply I love you.