True story: A masseuse specializing in pregnancy massage spoke to her client’s unborn child as she massaged the mommy’s tummy. She also read the children’s book, Corduroy to him following each weekly massage. Three years later, the boy’s favorite story was—your guessed it—Corduroy.
You’ve likely heard stories like these. In fact, it inspired me to read Curious George Visits the Toy Store to my unborn son every day during pregnancy. I read it to him periodically after he was born as well. When he was four years old, I asked him, “Do you know this story?” He thought for a second and then shook his head, “no.” Bummer. I was so hoping for a “yes.” It’s okay though. Whether a child recalls a story or not, there are numerous benefits to reading to a baby during pregnancy.
You can start reading to your little one as soon as the prego stick reads positive. This can help soothe you during pregnancy by keeping stress levels down. When you read to your baby during pregnancy it promotes a sense of calm and well-being. When mom’s calm, baby’s calm. In fact, your calming voice will likely provide more benefits than the actual words you read to your baby.
At about six months into pregnancy, your baby’s ears are developed so she can hear you. The sound of your voice and the voices of those around you become familiar to her. This is true whether you read to your baby, talk to her or sing to her. Once they are born, babies often respond favorably to people’s voices they recognize.
Knowing you are doing something positive for your baby can also boost your “good mom” ego. That’s because reading during pregnancy fosters a baby’s development so she can begin learning sounds and words once she is born.
Finally, when you read to your baby during pregnancy, you get accustomed to reading to your child every day, which provides the perfect foundation for creating an avid reader.