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I love to read. A passion which I cultivated as my mother and my nani read to me bedtime stories. The power of books is enormous. We actually have no idea how it impacts our mind. As children we believed everything we were read out from the sea of knowledge. When I became a mother I firmly believed that reading out to my child was a way of communication and enhancing the joy of reading as a play way to develop a bond with my baby. Aariana was 2.6 months old when we began our journey. I didn't really go out to shops to buy books. I surfed online on various websites to see what would be good for babies. There is a sea of treasures there although we need to chose wisely. I began with touch and feel books. They are indeed beautiful. My daughter looked intently at them. Although she didn't touch them. I thought why not create a textures book for her. I use textures in my pediatric practice so this was an easy task. I also used stimulation card books compiled by me for her vision stimulation. She thoroughly enjoyed all of it. Then I gradually moved on to mega flash cards. You don't get them everywhere. They are available on first cry. I love flash cards and my daughter's love for them is immense. These are the precursors for reading readiness. I even began checking on the web how to go about showing flash cards and the duration and frequency of use. You can also make your own flashcards using the pictures which you have if you can squeeze out time for it. You could also begin with singing nursery rhymes and the regional songs for babies. It works wonders. Singing lullabies to babies promotes language development and also attention and memory. It is the easiest way to develop a bond with them.
Thus singing songs, visual stimulation and auditory stimulation creates a wonderful base for babies development. Coming back to books for babies. This is a subject close to my heart. My daughter is 14 months old and she has a book collection already. I pick up books which have bold pictures with less written matter. A single picture on a page with a simple sentence or a word. Hard cover books are always better. Hand held books are better than big ones. Reading out loud to babies is better dine with making them sit on our lap. They can also be assisted with turning the pages of the book. Repeat these activities everyday. Point out to every picture and gradually turn. The intonation of the voice makes a lot of difference. The pitch and the ups and downs with a dramatic effect is useful in gaining their attention. It's a very beautiful concept if the entire family participates in this activity. Grandparents are actually a boon in this situation as they have a priceless storehouse of talent.
I generally prefer Indian books for my child. It's easier for all to read out to the baby. Now a days we also have regional languages publications for reading. This is indeed incredible. We should actually look forward to promoting our languages.
I have some suggestions of books which I loved:
1. Amazon has lovely touch and feel books.
2.The very hungry caterpillar.
3. Mala's Silver Anklets.
5. Where's the Cat?
6. Grandma's Glasses.
7. Funny phonics series- lovely pictures
8. Good night moon.
9. Little laal.
10. Rain rain go away.
Shree book centre, Mumbai. They have awesome books.
Preloved books are always available on the web.
Books are always our friends. They will always nourish our babies.