We all know that reading with our kids is an important and enjoyable part of parenting. But did you know that the earlier you start reading books with your baby, the more likely they are to develop the language and communication skills? Plus, reading regularly promotes creativity and boosts your child’s imagination. And it’s just nice to snuggle up round a good book.
Keep reading to discover a brilliant book that will help your baby to identify numbers and start learning to count.
I get it. You’ve just had a baby. Your primary concern is about feeding. And sleep. And baby poo. Yep, I’ve been there too. Searching for pictures of baby poo to see if it really should be sticky black or seaweed green.
There are a million-and-one things we freak out about as new mums. And here I am telling you that you need to add in reading to your hectic life as a new mum.
That’s great, thanks!
But, actually, it’s really not that difficult to find a little bit of time to read with your new baby everyday. The trick is to remember that during the first few precious days, weeks, months, nothing else matters except spending time and bonding with your baby.
We’re bombarded everyday with images and stories of other mamas who snapped back to their pre-baby life in nano-seconds. Running empires and conquering the world. And that’s great for them, if that’s what they want to do. That’s their choice. It doesn’t have to be our choice.
If you’re like me, you probably want to slow down a little after giving birth and enjoy this new adventure called motherhood.
As new mums we need to let ourselves realise that it’s okay to live a different kind of lifestyle to the one we had before kids. I’m not saying we have to completely reinvent ourselves, or wave goodbye to the pre-baby version of you. But our priorities change. So does our perspective on life. And that’s okay.
Time becomes almost meaningless during those first few weeks of motherhood. The usual 24-hour cycle no longer applies. We live in 2-hour cycles now, or however long your baby goes between feeds.
And this is precisely how you can find just a few minutes to read to your new baby. Right after feeding. Okay, so baby might be milk-drunk and out like a light before you’ve had chance to open the book. I would recommend that you keep a book next to you during the feed, so you don’t have to disturb baby when they’ve finished.
Even if baby is asleep straight after they’ve been fed, it’s still a good habit to get into. It will become part of your routine. That way, as your child gets older, you won’t struggle to find time to read together. It will be a natural part of your day.
Time For You
The other reason I suggest reading after baby has fed is because you’ll actually let yourself sit down and snuggle with your precious bundle.
There is a temptation with new mums to transfer a sleeping baby into their Moses basket as soon as they fall asleep. That would be fine if we were doing that to let ourselves get some rest too.
But we new mums don’t do that. No. We see a sleeping baby as an opportunity to clean. To tidy up. And to try and tackle that Everest-size pile of laundry that seems to grow before our eyes.
We don’t rest.
Taking just a few minutes to read through a baby book is like giving ourselves permission to sit a while longer, bonding with baby. It’s very relaxing for you and for them too.
Benefits of Reading Daily
I read to GinGin everyday, even when she was tiny. It wasn’t always baby books. Sometimes it was from books I wanted to read. And sometimes it was even stuff I had to read for work.
It didn’t matter what it was that I read to her. What mattered was that I read to her. Regularly.
GinGin is now six. Her vocabulary is very well developed, having started talking before she was one. She began forming letter shapes with crayons before her second birthday. She has always enjoyed writing short stories. And she still reads everyday.
In fact, GinGin reads with her little sister, Roo, who is nearly two.
Sharing books and stories with Roo is a natural part of GinGin’s childhood. And so it is a natural part of Roo’s childhood too. Reading is not only a way for me to bond with my daughters, it’s a way for them to bond with each other (with the occasional squabble, obviously!)
Roo also began saying her first words before she was one. At nearly two year’s old, she is learning how to have a conversation. She can also count, and has been able to count to ten since she was about eighteen months old although she’d sometimes forget about number seven. She now knows the numbers up to thirteen.
Yep, thirteen. Weird number, but that’s what she knows.
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This is the Brilliant Book
I’m convinced that Roo’s ability to count is all down to one of her favourite books. It’s a book called Where’s Bear? It’s from the Bear & Hare series by Emily Gravett. She illustrated this book too, and her pictures are just wonderful.
I won’t completely ruin the storyline for you – it’s definitely a page-turner – but Gravett’s use of repetition in counting to ten is what I attribute Roo’s early ability to count too.
Counting in this baby book is sequential. There numbers used in a game of hide-and-seek. And so it’s different to many other baby books, where counting objects is how numbers are represented.
In Where’s Bear? the numbers – counting to ten – is integral to the story. And so our children are kept entertained as much by the counting as by the story.
It’s really very clever.
And it’s one of Roo’s favourite books.
We have other number books. Some of them we had when GinGin was a baby, and now they’ve passed down to Roo. But this is the counting book that she picks out to read time and time again.
She absolutely adores it. And she’ll often sit and look through it by herself now too. Reading together is something we still enjoy doing everyday. But Roo has discovered the joy of reading, and will happily sit and entertain herself with a book or two.
I cannot recommend this book more highly. So, if you’re looking for a baby book to share with your little one, this is definitely one to get!
Which is your child’s favourite counting book? Let us know in the comments below 🙂
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