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  • Writer's pictureAlison McDonald

Books and Babies

I love reading. One of my greatest pleasures after my first baby was born, was to take some quiet moments to read a chapter of a book whilst she was feeding. She turned out to be a difficult, slow feeder, so books were my escape while we battled on through the tumultuous feeding times. At first, there was no way to juggle a book with my hands full of a wriggling baby as I tried to position her correctly, so audio books became my great friend. As I prepared to nurse her, I hit play on the audio book and away we went. Together we got through many long, sleepless hours whilst listening to some wonderful stories.

As our feeding routine settled down, I was able to juggle the old hand-held book with the bundle of baby. I swapped the audio books for reading my book aloud to her as we worked our way through Jane Austen and other great classic authors. Enjoying books together helped me to look forward to difficult feeding times and saw me through sleepless nights.

Now I confess that reading to one baby is easier when you have some quiet time together and it’s harder to achieve as subsequent bundles of joy arrive with your time spread thinly between infants, toddlers, and pre-schoolers. But it’s worth it. It’s never too early to read to your baby. You already know how much he enjoys listening to the tone and expression of your voice when you’re talking. Reading aloud gives you more opportunities for her to snuggle close, listen to your voice and hear new words. Reading aloud will help your baby listen, attend to voices, and learn the rhythm of language.

Now my baby daughter is all grown up. She is an avid, widely read young woman, who is in love with language, writing, editing and continually learning. I like to think that all those books we ‘read’ together when she was a baby have had a hand in helping her grow her interests and have shaped her into who she is becoming. Books are beautiful. Share one with your baby today.

Written by Alison Speech Pathologist Newcastle Speech Pathology

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