Every father must read to their baby. The benefits of reading out loud to a child range from positive cognitive development to a healthier long-term relationship with learning.

A common question though, is, how do I read to my baby?

Daddy’s Digest has put together a few suggestions.

1. Buy books that are sturdy, with thick pages and rounded edges OR made of cloth (with no small lose parts). Books must be safe for use by and with a baby.

2. Use reading time as an opportunity to cuddle with your baby. Let it be a happy, positive experience that they are receptive to. Read to them regularly and not just one-off.

3. Studies show that interactive reading helps develop a child’s IQ. Make sure to act silly, be animated and use different voices. This helps keep them engaged and stimulates their brains.

4. Babies cannot comprehend what they are listening to, so read books that a simple. Their young developing minds crave rhyming sounds. Babies like repetition so don't worry about being boring if you read the same book multiple times.

5. Choose books that are interactive and teach concepts like texture (touch-and-feel books) and cause and effect (books with hidden flaps).

6. Encourage them to participate by pointing to objects in the book and imitating your sounds.

7. Your newborn to three-month old’s sight is still blurry and developing. Their books will need bright, simple pictures of familiar objects. Black and white books are great in the first three months but aren’t a necessity as long as their colors are in high-contrast with each other.

Remember to let your child see you read. Children model behavior they see and watching their parents read is a sign that it is an important part of life.

Our guide outlines the facts based on research from several online and offline resources. If you are in doubt or worried about your child’s development for any reason, consult with a qualified and certified mental health professional or medical doctor.

Related articles:

The Principles of Good Parenting

The Different Types & Stages of Play

First Year Baby Development Concerns

Helping Your Baby's Growth & Development

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