Pediatrician Talks about the Importance of Reading to your Infant
MAYWOOD, Ill. â A mother snuggling a newborn in her arms reading âGoodnight Moonâ is an image of serene beauty, but is there any developmental benefit in reading to a newborn? âSpending quality time and bonding with your infant are always important, no matter what the activity is. But with reading, the benefits increase since infants are auditory learners,â said Hannah Chow, MD, assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. âBy talking and reading to your baby, he or she learns about communication and how to interact with other people.â According to Chow, reading to children at a young age also: â¢ Encourages a passion for books and learning â¢ Improves a childâs concentration, which improves attention in school â¢ Stimulates creativity and imagination â¢ Improves vocabulary âAlthough reading books to children is wonderful when infants are small, itâs not so much what you read, but how you read it. Reading the Wall Street Journal? Read it out loud to your newborn using voice inflection and interacting with him or her while you read. Itâs a wonderful chance to just be together and get some reading in, too,â Chow said. As children age, what you read becomes more important. According to Chow, infants and toddlers enjoy staring at people, especially babies, so try to find books that are colorful and simple with lots of pictures and few words. As they become toddlers, ensuring that books are durable becomes paramount as they will get banged on the floor and chewed on by the toddler. âMost toddlers donât want to sit still while you read an entire book, so read part of the story, let him or her wander off and explore for a while and then return to the story a little later. Just be sure you make it purposeful and a part of their routine,â Chow said. âLet your kids pick which book they want to read and if itâs the same one over and over and over again, just keep reading it. Kids learn from repetition.â She also suggests having books with you at all times. When you have downtime, such as riding in the car or sitting in a waiting room, you have a great activity for your child. Though reading in and of itself is a wonderful habit, the most important part of the activity is the quality time it gives parents with their kids. âInteract with your kids while reading. Ask them questions about the words or pictures. Itâs fascinating what kids are interested in and the amount of detail they can remember,â Chow said. âKids mimic their parentsâ behavior. If reading is a priority for you, if they see you picking up a book instead of turning on the TV, they will most likely do it, too.â For media inquiries, please contact Evie Polsley at email@example.com or call (708) 216-5313 or (708) 417-5100.