A few weeks ago, I posted a book recommendation give-away and got more than 50 comments with moms tagging other moms. I realized that new moms really want to read to their babies, but just don’t know how to start or what types of books to buy. While I didn’t get a chance (or feel comfortable) talking to myself while pregnant, I did start building my kids library when they were a few months old. As a new mother and very little access to public libraries I was lost- where does one look for age appropriate books? This led me on my journey to discovering more about the world of kidlit.
This series is unique because most of the Instagram tiles only feature a few words on the types of books you should look out for. The reason behind this is so that you can screenshot it and keep it as a reminder for the next time you visit a bookstore in search of books for your little one. Moreover, some of the titles are ‘mini-presentations’ on each feature so you should definitely swipe if you haven’t already done so.
Ok so lets begin:
Advice Number: 6789532- “You should share stories with your newborn.”
Great! On top of feeding, cleaning diapers, burping, bathing, sanitizing everything in the house, coming to terms with a new, unpleasant sleep cycle, now I have to READ to my ten day old child too?!
It exposes the baby to the sound of your voice, which is soothing for him." In fact, a recent study in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics found that reading to babies in the NICU can help parents develop the same feelings of intimacy that parents of healthy newborns cultivate in the days and weeks after a baby's birth.
Reading books together allows you to bond and helps a child understand the world is a safe place to play and explore. Moreover, bonding (cuddling, talking and singing) release growth hormones.
Did you know that kids who are read to every day are exposed to around 78,000 words each year—over five years, that adds up to 1.4 million words heard during story time?
0-6 months: BLACK & WHITE
Newborns and still developing their eye sight and ability to see color. High contrast colors help optic nerve grow. Research indicates that high-contrast colors like black and white register most strongly in a baby's brain and help the optic nerve to grow. Due to an underdeveloped retina, keep objects and your face around 8-10 inches from the baby’s face, so the baby can focus as best as possible. You can and should consider high contrast for your clothes, the baby’s toys, books, the mobile, crib bedding, room decor, blankets, items that you put around the car seat, and footsies. Preferably dark and light stripes.
Let’s knock down two sticks with one stick- reading and sensory play! Hypothesizing experimenting, observing, drawing conclusions what now? This language takes me back to Ms Helness’s class, straining to listen to her soft voice from the back benches and, miserably failing! Either way, I am finally putting good use to all those lessons!
Thanks Ms Helness! What is sensory play? It includes any activity that stimulates baby's sense of touch, smell, taste, sight, or hearing. The idea is to encourage little ones to use their senses to play, create, investigate and explore. Sensory play can be an early, but important step in the development process.
With sensory play, there’s always much more going on than meets the eye. Sensory activities, in addition to being fun and interesting for babies and young children, encourage children to explore and investigate. Furthermore, these activities support children to use the ‘scientific method’ of observing, forming a hypothesis, experimenting and making conclusions.
Sensory activities also allow children to refine their thresholds for different sensory information, helping their brain to create stronger connections to sensory information and learn which are useful and which can be filtered out.
Sensory activities help to build nerve connections in the brain and encourage the development of motor skills. Moreover, they encourage ‘scientific thinking’ and problem solving.
Next week, I will talk more about my crowd-funded campaign with The Community Library Project. I hope to do some Instagram lives to discuss the brilliant work they do! I will also be sharing more about the database I am working on and can’t for you’ll to hear more about it!