Reading bedtime stories to babies has long been a tradition in many parts of the world, for several good reasons.
First, it helps them fall asleep and sleep soundly. Second, most stories are about familiar characters and events, and they help to stimulate their intellectual and emotional development.
But why and how is reading a bedtime story to your little baby truly going to benefit them?
In this article we answer all your frequently asked questions relating to bedtime stories for babies, including a list of our favorite stories.
Reading to my kids has always been one of my favorite past times. It wasn't because I thought it was going to benefit them. It was more for the time that we spent with each other.
It was only after my kids had grown up, I decided to look up the benefits of reading to babies and how important it is to do so.
So for those parents taking a proactive approach (unlike me) and looking for the reasons why it is so beneficial to read a bedtime story for babies every night, here are many compelling reasons to begin right away.
Reading bedtime stories to children may be the best way to stimulate their imagination. According to a new study at the University of New South Wales, Australia, researchers found that bedtime stories help develop creativity in children by encouraging them to exercise their minds.
It makes complete sense, as they are being exposed to new ideas and concepts through story telling. A baby's mind is like a sponge and exposing it to new and wonderful pictures and words will only fuel their ability to connect and create new information.
You may not think your baby has the ability to speak or develop at such a young age. However, that doesn't mean you don't have to read to them. Like we identified in the previous benefit, that tiny brain of theirs is taking in everything that is going on in their surrounding environment. This includes the books and stories you tell them.
They may not be able to respond to you in the way you expect, but rest assured they are listening and absorbing every word and picture.
Exposing them to words and sentences in bedtime stories is a fantastic way to develop their language skills for when they are able to reciprocate their feelings back to you. Continuing the routine of bedtime stories
When you think about it, the fact that babies can't walk or talk yet can still follow a story is amazing. And researchers have shown that babies can absorb stories, even if they can't speak, in the same way that they absorb music or sounds.
This concept is similar to the previous benefits we described, however there is one important difference with stimulating your baby's mind with bedtime stories. And this is due to timing. By reading the bedtime stories to your baby just before they are put down for a sleep, it allows their brain to process all the new information while they sleep.
Reading to your baby (at bed time or during the day) is a great way to build the bond between you and your baby. It is most definitely my favorite pastime when I think back to the moments I was raising my two girls.
Having your little bubs sitting on your lap, close to your chest, surrounded by your arms are truly special bonding moments. In these moments, your baby gets used to your scent, synchronizes with the tones and vibrations of your voice
The Best Baby Care Tips Team gets a lot of questions coming in from our community, so we have decided to make it a feature to include frequently asked questions in our baby care articles. Here are the most popular FAQ's for bedtime story for babies.
This question is probably one of the most common questions we receive regarding bedtime story for babies.
The short answer is there is no 'good age'. Reading to your baby/child is always a good idea - even while they are in the womb. As long as they are able to hear they can absorb and will benefit from your stories.
The answer to this question generally depends on what stage your baby is at in their development. Those babies that are yet to develop their sight will rely on their audible senses for taking in the bedtime stories.
Whereas, those that have the ability to see pictures and listen to your words, will enjoy picture story books.
The next stage up is when your baby begins to develop their textile and motor functions. You will recognize this stage when they are constantly grabbing at things or may be reaching for items around you while you are trying to read the bedtime story. At this stage it is a good idea to read those interactive books that have elements on their pages for your baby to touch, feel, and scrunch.
Here is my list of favorite bedtime stories I used to read to my girls when they are babies:
In reality, any fun children book will suit a bedtime story. It just needs to be engaging and stimulating for your baby for the reading time to be a quality moment for everyone to enjoy.
I understand why some parents may ask this question. After all, in modern society we are taught time is of the essence and it is a limited resource. For those parents that must have an answer, I would recommend aiming for the 30 minutes a day of reading to your little one.
However, I would implore you to try shift your mindset from one that is constantly aiming for time targets and routine. Rather than looking at simply reading 30 minutes a day when your baby may not be engaged, go for spending 'quality' reading time with your baby. Even 5 minutes of high quality, engaged reading is better than 30 minutes of rushed disinterested story time.
Bedtime stories are one of my favorite past times with my children. It was a time when I could bond and develop our relationship.
There are so many benefits to be gained from consistently reading to your baby. Mental stimulation, language development and creativity are only a few of the advantages that your little one will receive from the regular reading sessions.
Let us know what books you love to read to your baby in the comments section below. I'm sure there are some gems out there that the Best Baby Care Tips community have never heard of that would be lovely to explore.
Also make sure to share this article with other parents, so we can all develop loving relationships with our little bundles of joy.