The other day, my 9-year-old son asked me who the original writer was of the Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes. He wanted to know if there was a real woman long ago who had the unfortunate luck to marry a man named Mr. Goose. Perhaps she had birthed many children and lived in a house so small it felt, and maybe even SMELLED, like an old shoe? I’m thinking that the original Mother Goose was probably some poor, sleep-deprived, overwrought new mother who was desperate for a way to get her child to sleep and didn’t have access to books.
I’ve realized that, real or not, Mother Goose was a smart, ole’ gal. She knew that telling her child stories from an early age helps babies and parents bond in important ways.
Reading books to your baby can help calm your baby. It can also help put you in a more relaxed frame of mind, too.
Infants are like sponges when it comes to language. They are ready to soak up everything in sight. Hearing books being read aloud helps babies become familiar with the sound patterns and cadences of their native tongue.
Not only are rhyming stories easy for parents to memorize (a plus when you’re trying to soothe a screaming baby on a long car ride), but they also satisfy children’s need to be able to play with language.
Physical closeness is important in helping children develop self-confidence.
That we are willing to put aside all of our tasks and focus singularly on them and what they’re interested in.Reading helps us focus on what really matters.
Children who have warm, happy moments of being read to when they are little are more likely to associate those loving feelings with books as they grow older.
Isn’t it great that reading aloud to your baby is has so many benefits? It’s the simplest, most natural ways to show your baby unconditional love.
Unfortunately, you’ll still have the dirty diapers and sleepless nights. But take it from me–an ole’ pro, like Mother Goose herself. In time those will be a distant memory, but the times of bonding through books will stay with you both forever.
Be sure to check out our Reading Skills Toolkits for Different Ages and Stages of Child Development.