Benefits of reading to your baby : Evewoman - The Standard
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Benefits of reading to your baby

Benefits of reading to your baby

If you want to hide something from a Kenyan, put it in a book, or so you have heard it is said. A reading culture among Kenyans is lacking, a symptom of a disease ailing the country. Luckily we know the root cause of this disease; in our childhood. For whatever reason, our induction into reading is at a late stage and usually something of a punishment and thus we detest it, only doing so to pass exams. Even better with us lies the cure, or more precisely, the vaccine for future generations; bath time. According to Geisha bath time maximizes mother-to-child time.

Bath time is usually fun for most babies with most turning their water basins into a playground. You know how they tap about the water with their little feet and hands excited and make sounds.

Relaxing

Bath time also seems to relax children, and more often than not, it is after bath that most parents help their children settle into a good night sleep. The water, accompanied by singing smiling and gently talking to your baby can help relax both the mother and baby. The sound of a mother’s voice is soothing to a baby.

It therefore goes without saying that bath time is a great time to read to your child. And Geisha, through their ‘Stories For Life’ campaign are here to help get Africa’s mothers spend that meaningful time with their children, thereby helping them to prepare for life.

Besides relaxing babies and getting then to respond to the rhythmic movement of the mother’s voice and what that they see with their arms and legs, spending meaningful intimacy time, i.e. story time, provides other numerous benefits, both immediate and in the long run.

Bonds mother and baby

A study in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics found that reading to babies 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.

Babies from 0 to 3 months like books with interesting things to look at – colourful pictures and simple patterns for instance - and those in the picture book by Geisha, Gina The Lazy Giraffe, are a stellar example. “Each story is designed to stimulate your child's learning and imagination through lovable fairy tale creatures they can relate to,” says Geisha.

It prepares baby for reading on their own

Above and beyond, looking at interesting pictures, babies tend to pick up the rhythm, tones and inflections of your voice, even if they do not understand what you are saying. Research shows that the more words a baby is exposed to, the better prepared he is to eventually start reading on his own.

It boosts vocabulary and math skills

The more words a baby is exposed to, the larger their vocabulary. Also, their mathematical skills tend to be more advanced than other kids their age. There has also been found a direct link between how many words a baby hears each day and her language skills. One study found that babies whose parents spoke to them a lot scored higher on standard tests when they reached age 3 than children whose parents weren't as verbal. “The stories will give your child a new vocabulary and teach those important values; opening their mind and teaching them life lessons, like how to be kind, resilient and how to use their minds," said Geisha.

It introduces emotion

Through the different sounds a mother uses when reading the downloaded stories, whether it's doing a voice for a specific character or describing what's going on in the book, the baby then associates certain sounds to mean something.

So the next time you take your baby to bathe with Geisha soap, do not forget to take with you the audio book for some meaningful bonding time with your baby.

Through the Stories For Life six-part series of stories, mothers can read to their children easily. Get the Geisha Stories For Life free by downloading the set of stories from your phone from the site www.geishastories.com or dialling *436*2#.

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