Reading to babies on a daily basis gives them the best start in life and it is never too early to start. Sharing books with babies and young children is a great way to develop their language and help them to talk.
When sharing books your not teaching your child to read but you are helping them develop the skills needed to be able to learn to read and to grow up with a love of books and become more confident readers when they are ready.
Babies love the sound of their carers voices and reading aloud to them can be calming. Grandparents, brothers and sisters can get involved too and support a love of books.
First books need to be sturdy - babies explore everything through their senses and like everything else will put books to their mouths. However they will soon learn what a book is for when they see how you handle them.
Be a good role model. Babies watch adults and learn by copying them. If they see you enjoy reading, they are more likely to enjoy it themselves. Try and keep a book in your bag at all times. Sharing a book together can help waiting times to pass by quicker and make it more enjoyable.
Listening to the same stories over and over is good because the repetition of favourite stories helps babies and young children to learn. Repeated phrases encourage listening skills, concentration, memory and learning.