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Doctors Say—Read Aloud to Baby

By: Staff Report

In a recent policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is urging doctors to talk to parents about reading to their babies, and to give books to high-risk, low-income children during office visits. Here’s how to get started!

reading aloud young moms

We’ve known the importance of reading to your kids daily. It’s been a common thing since Jim Trelease published the bestseller in 1970, “The Read-Aloud Handbook,” which last year released the seventh edition. However, it seems that pediatricians and experts are rediscovering this technique, and partnering Reach Out and Read, a nonprofit organization that provides books for doctors to give to low-income families, and Too Small to Fail, a project of the Clinton Foundation, to make it happen.

So how can parents start reading to kids? Here are our top 5 favorite, and very affordable ways to get started!

Remember, it’s best to get your kid adjusted to hearing you, and holding them is the best way to get them settled. Also, set a specific time to read to them, although as you continue, you’ll find you can read whenever the mood strikes you—or you find something very interesting to read.

1. Newspapers: New York Times’ op-ed section is our favorite, since it addresses recent news and ideas. Also, the science and healths section are amazing for those cool stories on gravity and the brain. Just read these in a very animated form, so you won’t lose their interest. Over time, they’ll get used to reading and will simply listen.

2. Library: Pick books they’re interested in reading, and most importantly, select two. One copy will be for your kid, and the other one will be for you. It’ll be a great way to bond and read aloud together.

3. Never Underestimate Comic Books: The Cartoon History of the Universe are a favorite. The images will keep baby entertained, and the reading will engage you as well.

4. Repetition Is Key for Babies. Predictable books are best for babies, such as “Are You My Mother” by P.D. Eastman, and “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” by Bill Martin Jr. and John Ardchambault. There are many more, like “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown and the “If You Give…” series. Also, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, and “Where the Wild Things Are”  by Maurice Sendak. We could go on and on with this list! Point is, pick ones that repeat lines, are easy to remember and have beautiful images to keep your little ones interested.

5. Be Consistent. Stick to this tradition with your kids. It’ll benefit them in ways we can’t cover here—their reading level, self-esteem, self-worth, cognitive, social, and so on.

To learn more about this new initiative, talk to your child’s doctor or visit the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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