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Infant - Week #46

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Week 46: Read with Me!

By Meg Leonard, edHelperBaby

           Your 46-week-old continues to grow and change. It is amazing how many changes occur in a week's time. She is now standing stronger and willing to take more risks. She may have decided that she wants to climb over things or even tackle the stairs. Her vocabulary is growing, too, complete with gestures and facial expressions. Life with your baby is fun!


Developing a Reader
           In order to build the foundation for a good reader, talk to your baby often. It is easier to do now that you are also receiving some communication from him. Children who receive regular one-on-one conversation time during the first few years of their lives will grow to be stronger readers.

       Keep reading to your baby. Board books are great at this age because they are sturdy and short in length. Anyone who has spent time around a 46-week-old baby knows that these are critical requirements for their attention span and enthusiastic way of treating objects. Make sure that a variety of people read to him, too. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings, or anyone that spends time with your baby should also read to him. This way, he will learn that reading is important and special to many people, not just his primary care giver. If possible, let him see you reading too. He is still learning through observation and imitation. Allow him to see that reading is a life-long skill.


           This week, take a trip to the public library. If you haven't been there before, you may want to call ahead to see what you need to bring in order to get a library card. Bring a bag to help carry all your "new" books home. Many libraries have sections of board books, which you can use to spice up your home library. It is helpful to put your baby in a stroller so that you can bend to look at shelves and not try to balance both the books and your baby. Most children's departments don't expect the usual silence that is found in the adult department, but you can also start teaching your baby about appropriate voice level in the library. If your baby starts to fuss, you can just grab a few books and head home. There is no negative consequence to not liking a book - you can simply return it!


Words for the Day
    Book: Baby's Day by Templar and Emma Dodd
       This board book goes through a day in the life of a baby. Black and white photographs are paired with colorful, patterned pages that contain a short phrase to describe the action in the photo. It also includes two textured illustrations to satisfy the tactile needs of your baby. This book could easily become one of your baby's favorites.


Real Life with Baby
           Mary and I took a trip to the library this week. I strapped her into her stroller and we hit the children's department. From previous visits, I knew where the board books were located. I took books from the shelf and showed them to Mary before deciding whether or not to put them in our bag. If she smiled, we checked it out. If she had no reaction, we left it there. I have learned that I have to move fast between the shelves or else Mary's wandering hands will start to pull books off of them. The children's department was filled with other children, so I didn't have to worry about her volume. We also checked out some CDs for variety in our musical library.

       When we got home, I put her board books on the floor and let her look through them. Mary had a big smile on her face when she saw the "new" books. Baby's Day was one of the books we checked out. Mary was drawn to this book immediately. She smiled at the photos and even seemed to imitate the babies by putting her fingers in her mouth as they were. She liked the fuzzy bunny and bear and turned to these pages after we had read the book a few times.


Reading For Your Own Pleasure
           You may also want to check out books for your own reading pleasure when you visit the library. This is a great time to preview any parenting books you have considered buying. You can decide if the book complements or conflicts with your own parenting style before you make your purchase. Remember, you are allowed to read books that have nothing to do with your baby, too! To make this part of the library experience go more smoothly, you may want to search the online card catalog before your visit. Write down which section the book is located in and the call numbers so that you can find your books more quickly. You may also have the option of placing a hold on a book. This way, the book will be waiting for you when you are ready to check out. Most libraries require that you have a library card in order to place a hold. Check with your local library to learn more about their policies.


In Preparation for Your Library Visit

       You will find a section on visiting the library in the Early Childhood section of edHelper. There are mini-books that explain what a library is, what you will see at a library, and how you check out books. You can use these to prepare your baby for your visit by printing them out and reading them before you go.


Reading Can Offer Challenges
By Lindsey Hill, edHelperBaby

           Developing life-long readers is an important skill but can offer its challenges. One challenge many families face is spreading their time equally among their children. Therefore, many families will opt to complete daily activities, such as reading, with all children in tow, but find that different ages offer different stages in regard to toys and books. Try some of these ideas for developing a relaxing reading environment with both children no matter the age differences:
  • Offer the older child a chance to read to the younger child using board books with simple words and pictures that he can "read" by himself
  • Choose board books with rhymes and rhythm that both children will enjoy and read in a sing-song voice
  • Sit on the couch with the older child for five minutes of reading while the younger child plays with his basket of board books on the floor and then switch your position to sit with the younger child while offering the older child independent reading time on the couch
  • Check out books on CD for the older child that will enhance your younger child's vocabulary as he listens
  • Read in the bathtub with plastic books (and these are also fun to chew on!)


Reading Times Two
By Lindsey Hill, About my child Cory and Camden

           Ever since Cory was a tiny baby, we established a reading time every night before bed and throughout the day as we chose. Now that he is approaching four, reading time before bed is one of his favorite activities to do. In fact, we often take away and add the number of books we will read depending on his behavior. Our current challenges, however, are establishing a reading time with Camden since he goes to bed at a different time than Cory and finding time to read with both boys during the daylight hours. When we lay on the floor to read together, Camden will often attempt to tear Cory's books and Cory will often stomp off upset that his favorite pages are now bent or ripped. If we choose to read Camden's books, Cory loses interest quickly. Although we are still seeking the perfect solution, we have tried several different ideas that create a more relaxing environment during our day time reading adventures! One of our favorite activities is when Cory "reads" picture word books to Camden. Camden smiles up at him and Cory looks so proud!


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