When my baby Gabby was a couple months old, his pediatrician told me to read to him. Reading to a baby will help him build up his vocabulary, get used to the spoken word, expose him to books, make reading an enjoyable experience for him, and serve as a bonding activity between parent and child. We’re also trying to get him to spend more time with books and toys rather than in front of the TV, with its associated dangers of obesity, hyperactivity, and attention deficit disorders (of course, it’s very difficult to enforce the “No TV” policy for a toddler, especially since the yaya and the manang watch “Wowowee” everyday; but we try to at least minimize TV exposure).
I think I started reading to him around his 3rd month, because that was the earliest I was able to go out and buy him a book (prior to that we were practically joined together, a lean mean breastfeeding machine 🙂 ). Since he wasn’t able to sit up yet on his own then, I used to put him on his tummy and join him on the bed while I read to him and he looked at the book. Pretty soon he was able to “memorize” the book, in that he would smile whenever I would recite phrases from the book from memory, even when we aren’t reading. The first book I got him was a Baby Einstein book, What Does Violet See: Birds and Nests. I and my husband steadily built up his library by getting him a couple of alphabet books, a shapes book, colors book, numbers books, and other activity books.
I noticed though that his favorite books are story books. He pays the longest and most attention to, and enjoys being read, story books. His favorite books are the Guess How Much I Love You books. We’re only missing the Autumn book and our collection is complete:
Babies have short attention spans, but when it comes to these books Gabby has a pretty long attention span. Usually we’re able to read all these 4 books in one sitting, and a couple of times we read these 4 books twice. Each. And it’s not us, his parents, who make him sit and listen; he makes us read the books over and over again, to the point na kami na ang gumi-give up. LOL.
I guess what makes it enjoyable for him, and for us as well, is that we’re able to spend a comforting, cozy, quiet time together. To top it off, Gabby gets to learn a lot, and/or shows us that he is learning or understanding more.
For example, when we get to the part where the story refers to Big Nutbrown Hare’s ears, Gabby would touch his or our ears. When Little Nutbrown Hare guesses, “Water!,” he’d say “Aaahhhhh”. Or when “Big Nutbrown Hare leaned over and kissed him good night,” we get a kiss from Gabby. Da best, right? 🙂
I just wish that he will go on to love reading even when he grows up. 🙂