Reading to your baby? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 05-16-2003, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
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I work for a library so I know how important literacy is. I keep trying to read to my 9 month old, but he just gets bored. He wants to play with the pages, which I let him do for a while, but when I continue to try to read he crawls off and gets interested in something else. Should I keep this up anyway? I can't model my reading habits because I'm too busy to read myself anymore!
Any hints here?
We have a pretty big library of board books and easy reader/easy picture books, thanks to the library's book sale!

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#2 of 14 Old 05-16-2003, 02:00 PM
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I read to mine while they are sitting in the exersaucer and walker. That is the only way I can hold the book so both can see. But mine are only 6 months old. Maybe it is his age. I remember ds doing what you are describing.
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#3 of 14 Old 05-16-2003, 02:01 PM
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.... with us being a family of book-crazy, reading addicted book-worms, I am now totally easing up on reading to my 2nd. With my 1st I read as soon as he could sit up, virtually. We went through a phase in early toddlerhood when all he wanted to do was to be read to (I mean literally for hours on end, often daily) and I had to restore balance and model more down-on-the-mat playing with him instead. I do think he got to like "being entertained" a lot and had a hard time letting go of that. We try to follow family-centered parenting (as opposed to child-centered) and although this does leave room for plenty of one-on-one time with our children, it also lets the child be the caregiver's satelite and there is not so much child-focussed activity going on.

I think people go overboard about the "reading to babies" thing; I think mobile babies usually would rather want to be off exploring anyway. If your child is interested then fine (but probably only for really rhyming, strongly rhythmical or peekaboo books), but if all he/she wants to do is grab at and eat the pages, that's fine too. Children are such imitators: model reading yourself (you'll find more chunks of time as your baby gets older), leave lots of beautifully illustrated, colorful board books (see the latest copy of "The Read-Aloud Handbook" by Jim Trelease for ideas) about at eye-level in a basket stacked with covers facing forwards (for paging through and yes, chewing!) and do a little lap-sit reading every now and again. Balance, as with everything, is key.

Thoughtfully offered,
Michelle in NY - mom to total bookworm ds (5) and book-eater dd (11 months)
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#4 of 14 Old 05-16-2003, 02:06 PM
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I read to my son when he just had a bath, and he is drinking his bottle, we'll sit in the rocker, he hold his bottle and I read to him.
Sometimes he'll get too exited and wants to hold the book instead of his bottle.
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#5 of 14 Old 05-16-2003, 03:26 PM
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I started reading to my sweetie as soon as he could sit in my lap with his head propped up. He is now 3.5 months. I try to read to him a few nights a week. He seems to like it. Generally if he's been fussing, reading will calm him down. He likes his board books that his great-aunt bought him, but I've also read to him from whatever was nearby on the couch. I'm his mom, he likes the sound of my voice! (If he's REALLY fussy, only singing will do.) It doesn't replace active play; in fact I generally only do it at the time of day I want him to start to relax.

My father, who is a very smart man, told me that he started reading with us when we were infants, to build the pleasant association between reading and being cuddled. Well, it worked!

Where I work we conduct a family literacy program for 2 and 3 year olds. That seems to be the crucial age to get small children ready to read. At that age, the child can interact with you and learn words. I know some toddlers and preschoolers socially, and they generally do ask me to read to them. (I offer the first time, and then they ask me whenever they see me!) Even very active children can sit through a book they already know.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#6 of 14 Old 05-16-2003, 03:39 PM
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We read to our Dd a couple times a week. Sometimes it's her books and others it's just whatever we're reading. The other day I caught Dh reading a Stephen Hawking book. :LOL She doesn't really care what we're reading to her as long as there are good pictures to look at and we're cuddling her while we do it. If she gets fussy before we're done, we just stop and come back to it later.
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#7 of 14 Old 06-04-2003, 02:24 AM
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we read alllllllll day long! since birth. sometimes maya will wander all around and play while i read, looking at the pages, responding and talking here and there, sometimes shes in my lap turning pages on time, looking at me at the pauses and chatting with me. shes 9 mo old, and will crawl over to her bookshelf, pull up standing and grab a favorite book (right now its the foot book by dr suess-omfg i have read it 100000000 x lmao) and crawl back to me and hand it to me. she loves it no matter how we read. there. is. no. wrong. way. to . read. to. your. baby.

Erin, 33, salty southern mama, sitting by the sea with my DH35, DD10, DS4, &DD2!
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#8 of 14 Old 06-04-2003, 02:35 AM
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My ds is a hard one to read to also. He will either try to turn the pages before I am done reading or he just won't be still. He is a super active kid and hasn't yet realized that you don't always have to be moving to have a good time. I have also tried reading a goodnight book, but he gets too anxious for booby and won't sit for the whole book.

I guess as long as you keep trying they will eventually understand what you are trying to do.
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#9 of 14 Old 06-04-2003, 04:48 AM
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One of mine would sit still for a book anytime. The other 2 were spirited. I finally realized they were paying attn to the book, even tho they owere off in the corner with a toy. they would refer to the story the next day, and I was, oh! you actually heard me? Spirited children learn while moving, it is called kinesthetic.

All of mine learned to read "late," (even the quieter one) I had to trust it, as we were unschooling.
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#10 of 14 Old 06-04-2003, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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We do keep all the board books within reach of DS, so he plays with them all day.
I do read to him while he's off crusing, and I try to read stuff that rhymes so it catches his interest. Good to know he might actually be listening!
Too bad I can't read while chasing him around the room and tickling his feet! We do this A LOT because it makes him laugh really hard! :LOL
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#11 of 14 Old 06-04-2003, 06:22 PM
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I started reading to my dd as soon as she was born. She loves it and now at 11 months she will bring a book to me so I will read it to her. But she did go through a couple of months where she was just not interested. For her it was a phase.

Sandy, proud mama and henna artist. :
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#12 of 14 Old 06-05-2003, 03:21 PM
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We started reading to DS right after he was born. He was pretty colicky (sp??) and reading was one of the things that soothed him. He also had books lined up on the floor that he could easily get to ~ they were some of his most favortie toys, and still are at 2yo!!! He would usually have some type of down time and want to read, by about a year he was bringing us books, up until then we'd just read to him, while he was playing or when he was sitting with us. He liked it all!!!!!
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#13 of 14 Old 06-06-2003, 04:30 PM
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Sounds like you have the answer you need from DaryLLL, but thought I'd throw in another suggestion for keeping your little guy still. Dd likes the books that you sing to "FiddleIFee", "Itsy Bitsy Spider", "Today is Monday", and flap books and touch-feely books so she can interact with them.
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#14 of 14 Old 06-07-2003, 02:16 AM
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I am so jealous of mamas who say, "I have been reading to my child since s-he was 2 weeks old," etc., because Cole is one of those kids who will rarely sit still and be read to, and my DH and I are total bookworms! But, I figure he's still so young - maybe when he's older he'll appreciate books more. We do the same thing, about just making books accessible - he has a shelf of books that he pulls down and chews on, LOL. At this stage I just want him to feel comfortable with them and have them be a part of his day-to-day life. I try to sit him on my lap and read to him but if he squirms away I just let him go. Plus the interactive-book idea is a good one. Cole really likes "Pat the Bunny".
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