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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sweet Home Alabama

    Reading to the baby

    Since we've had a lot of parenting threads lately, thought I would throw this one out there as well: should I be reading to my 8-month-old? I mean, when I do he doesn't really pay attention and concentrates mainly on chewing the pages of the book. (which is not really surprising considering that he's a baby) Does it count if I read to him while he's playing with something else? What is it that I'm trying to achieve - hearing a lot of different words or sitting still and following words on a page?

    It seems to be the next best thing to child abuse that I don't read to him, but honestly I just don't see the point. (he does listen to Beethoven if that will keep me out of prison) Thoughts? Anyone have any non-edible book suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Acworth, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by blublood View Post
    Since we've had a lot of parenting threads lately, thought I would throw this one out there as well: should I be reading to my 8-month-old? I mean, when I do he doesn't really pay attention and concentrates mainly on chewing the pages of the book. (which is not really surprising considering that he's a baby) Does it count if I read to him while he's playing with something else? What is it that I'm trying to achieve - hearing a lot of different words or sitting still and following words on a page?

    It seems to be the next best thing to child abuse that I don't read to him, but honestly I just don't see the point. (he does listen to Beethoven if that will keep me out of prison) Thoughts? Anyone have any non-edible book suggestions?
    Yes. Don't worry about what he does or what you should be trying to achieve. You get bonding time, and baby's brains are unique and special - he will use that information and time the best way; whether it be just hearing the words (apparently passively), following along, etc.

    We have always read to our daughter a lot from infancy. And it certainly has paid off and been a reward to all of us.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Read books with colorful pictures (simple number books or books with pictures of food). At this age, though, the sound of your soothing voice and your interaction with them is important. You will end up doing a lot of things with your kids that you think are insignificant or that they are not paying attention -- but they are watching and learning.

    In addition to the type of book I described above, my young kids loved book that are shaped like animals or that have some interactive quality (fluffy bunnies, scratchy carrots, etc) and simple rhymes.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sweet Home Alabama
    Well, see this is what's frustrating to me: I only have a very limited amount of time to spend with him anyway since I'm working right now. (reason # 243 why I want to dump this job as soon as possible) (and when I say "limited" I mean like literally 2 hours out of the day) When I get home, I love to play touchy-feely kind of games with him - airplane, crawling around everywhere he does, carrying him on a walk, etc.

    Our special bonding time is at night with bath and bedtime, but that's when I sing to him to get him to sleep. It's just really frustrating to give up time that I could spend holding/playing with him, which I know he enjoys, to read to him which he only indirectly understands and doesn't involve enough interaction to satisfy his mommy anyway. That's why I guess I'm wondering if it would be the worst thing in the world to not have an established reading schedule at this age.

  5. #5
    Babies also like books with pictures of other babies in them. We have a few of these that have the baby sign language in them. Our son started making signs before he could speak and it eased a bit of the frustration of learning to speak.

    Reading to your child is really fantastic for both of you. At first your child will not really get it but once he does he will appreciate the closeness, the sound of your voice. You will be surprised at how much they do pick up.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington D.C.

    Consequences of not reading

    The consequences of not reading to your kids? They will grow up like Cletus the slack-jawed yokel, and will probably be bagging groceries at the store. You don't want that, do you?
    Last edited by BluBones; 05-07-2008 at 07:57 PM. Reason: Destructively negative

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greenville, NC
    Get some Wee Sing CDs and play them in your car on the way to and from day care. I especially liked Wee Sing Children's Songs and Fingerplays. This CD is chock-full of nursery rhymes and your child will love the sound of your voice.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by CathyCA View Post
    Get some Wee Sing CDs and play them in your car on the way to and from day care. I especially liked Wee Sing Children's Songs and Fingerplays. This CD is chock-full of nursery rhymes and your child will love the sound of your voice.
    Not always - my sister was singing to her oldest child, who was under 2 at the time, and he told her "no, Mommy, No". (She doesn't have the best singing voice.)

    I don't remember when she started reading to them but they are still big readers. I started giving them a trip to the bookstore for Christmas when they were 3 or 4 and still do that 14 years later.

    Reading is FUNdamental!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    It may seem like a pain right now, but you are definitely laying groundwork for the future. Like others have said, choose books that are colorful and fun; ones with sound effects are also great. The key here is that you saying from day one that reading is important in your house.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Quote Originally Posted by BCGroup View Post
    Like others have said, choose books that are colorful and fun; ones with sound effects are also great.
    Agree with all this, but also find books that taste good.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    I read to my daughter starting her first week. Nothing complicated. Just My Cat Is type of books. It is not all about the words but the colors and shapes as well. Our daughter really liked the interactive books. Peekaboo books where she could lift up the flap she enjoyed the most. Now, we've moved up to books with a bit more words. She still likes the books with flaps and mirrors though.

    Try to read to your child two or three times during the week. That way you are not always spending time reading to him and you can feel like you are spending quality time. Does your wife work as much? Maybe she can take over the reading?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by blublood View Post
    Well, see this is what's frustrating to me: I only have a very limited amount of time to spend with him anyway since I'm working right now. (reason # 243 why I want to dump this job as soon as possible) (and when I say "limited" I mean like literally 2 hours out of the day) When I get home, I love to play touchy-feely kind of games with him - airplane, crawling around everywhere he does, carrying him on a walk, etc.

    Our special bonding time is at night with bath and bedtime, but that's when I sing to him to get him to sleep. It's just really frustrating to give up time that I could spend holding/playing with him, which I know he enjoys, to read to him which he only indirectly understands and doesn't involve enough interaction to satisfy his mommy anyway. That's why I guess I'm wondering if it would be the worst thing in the world to not have an established reading schedule at this age.
    You need to use books that have some interest to your infant. As mentioned before, try books with different shapes, colors, etc. Another type of books would be those that have some sort of tactile sense to them. Notice that you aren't reading to him. You're interacting with the book in a manner that your son can understand. Rub your hands along the different parts of the book and either move his hand over the book or let him do it. Say the word furry, or soft, or brown, or whatever can be used to describe the object. Heck a binder would work. The spiral end is infinitely interesting to rub. And the plastic coating probably feels pretty good on a teething mouth.

    My son is 2.5 years old, and even now we don't necessarily read to him. It's a mixture of the words in the book and a description of the images.

    You can use this strategy with a lot of things. It's about interacting at your child's level. Not necessarily at the level that society uses.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Annandale, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by blublood View Post
    Well, see this is what's frustrating to me: I only have a very limited amount of time to spend with him anyway since I'm working right now. (reason # 243 why I want to dump this job as soon as possible) (and when I say "limited" I mean like literally 2 hours out of the day) When I get home, I love to play touchy-feely kind of games with him - airplane, crawling around everywhere he does, carrying him on a walk, etc.

    Our special bonding time is at night with bath and bedtime, but that's when I sing to him to get him to sleep. It's just really frustrating to give up time that I could spend holding/playing with him, which I know he enjoys, to read to him which he only indirectly understands and doesn't involve enough interaction to satisfy his mommy anyway. That's why I guess I'm wondering if it would be the worst thing in the world to not have an established reading schedule at this age.
    What? Why is he not on your lap?

    Schedule? Think of it as establishing routines. Babies crave routine. Every night after brushing teeth and going to the bathroom (our little one is 3 and potty trained - thank God for girls in that dept.) we read a story and sing the same songs we've been singing for years. They know that sleep comes next and so the routine makes that inevitable.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North Raleigh

    worse yet..

    They might grow up to be UNC fans.... so reading IS important.

    The board books with colors were alays a hit. Even the cheapies... we'd play where it the sheep, what color is the grass and how many chickens do you see.. All those things are good.

    I just finished reading 2 books to my 5 yo. He was very cuddly and interested in the pictures and the words... Sometimes after a book we've read many times, he will grad ot and say let me read you a story... And he will play games with the pictures to me Just as I described above... And he recites the story from memory. Good outlet for him.

    I still to the singing trick too... but I was never any good at lullabys... Both my boys know the Gilligan Island, Beverly hillbillies, Flintstones and Brady bunch theme songs... go with what you know..

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by Chard View Post
    Try to read to your child two or three times during the week. That way you are not always spending time reading to him and you can feel like you are spending quality time. Does your wife work as much? Maybe she can take over the reading?
    LOL! BluBlood IS the mommy, and currently the breadwinner and housekeeper and cook and so forth as well. (Hope you don't mind me pointing that out, Blu, it's been in other threads...)

    I love the old-fashioned attitude, tho, Chard -- if it's too much for dad to do, leave it up to mom?

    In this case, it should be the other way around.

    And FWIW, Blu, I have to think that the two hours of quality time you get is probably okay spent playing your touchy-feely bonding games. He's 8 months old! How much does he retain now that he wouldn't get if she waited until life normalized a little, and started up the reading again in 3-4 more months?

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilAlumna View Post
    He's 8 months old! How much does he retain now that he wouldn't get if she waited until life normalized a little, and started up the reading again in 3-4 more months?
    I warn new parents about this all the time. Don't underestimate what your child is picking up even at 8 months. He's probably starting to practice his consonants (babbling and such) which means he's already trying to mimic your voices.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Northwest Ohio

    Thumbs up

    Yes, an unqualified yes. Read to the child. Let them "help" you turn the pages, point at things in the book, show colors and shapes, in other words, make them comfortable around books now so as to be curious and comfortable later. Yes, an unqualified yes.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Yadkinville NC
    We have just graduated to reading "Everyone Poops" to our 2 (almost 3) year old. She just about has potty training down now thank goodness, but I have read to her since her birth, and I firmly believe that she got a lot closer to me due to it. Every night at the same time I'd read a book to her called "Lets go to the Park" which had about 20 words total in it, but lots of pictures and she loves it to this day. Nothing beats being a father does it?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sweet Home Alabama
    Quote Originally Posted by WeepingThomasHill View Post
    The consequences of not reading to your kids? They will grow up like Cletus the slack-jawed yokel, and will probably be bagging groceries at the store. You don't want that, do you?
    I knew it!!! Is that before or after he goes to prison?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sweet Home Alabama
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilAlumna View Post
    LOL! BluBlood IS the mommy, and currently the breadwinner and housekeeper and cook and so forth as well. (Hope you don't mind me pointing that out, Blu, it's been in other threads...)
    True that! That's one reason I stay so stressed out... if you want to be a working mom, that's one thing. If you don't, and circumstances dictate that you must be, well, you mostly want to go postal. Or give up and move the family to Latvia, depending on what kind of day it is.

    Anyhow, as it turns out (I guess I should have investigated this minor detail before posting...) I brought this up to Mr. blublood last night and he was like, "What are you talking about? I read to him every day after lunch." (He's the parent home with the baby during the days, just FYI)

    So Mr. blublood to the rescue! Now I don't have to worry about it during my 120 precious baby minutes or carry the guilt and shame any longer. Apparently, the seek n'slide books are a big hit - he doesn't quite know what a "coyote" is, but he really likes pulling back the little windows to see different animals.

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