Lincoln City Libraries, Bryan Health, and CHI Health have announced the start in July 2022 of a new three-year program in which all babies born at Lincoln area hospitals will receive a free, developmentally appropriate board book. Along with the board book, caregivers will receive an informational pamphlet about the importance of reading aloud with young children. Starting reading at birth will foster strong caregiver bonds and a lifelong love of reading.
Funding for this program was made possible through a Community Health Endowment grant, donations from Bryan Health and CHI Health, as well as private donors.
- Read aloud for 15 minutes every day for the best brain development benefits.
- Read together with your baby during feedings, in the tub, while waiting in line, or doing tummy time. Anytime, anywhere!
- Put them in your lap, so they can see your face while you read (your expressions will help your baby understand the meaning of the words they’re hearing).
- Let your baby bat at the book, turn the pages, and hold the book if they wish (board books are sturdy and meant to be handled roughly by young readers).
Did you know?
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you read aloud to your baby starting from birth. Reading is a simple way to help your child build a foundation for reading, learning, and academic success.
- It may seem silly to read to a newborn but the most important period for language and vocabulary growth is in the first two years of life. By age two, children who are read to regularly have better language comprehension, larger vocabularies, and higher cognitive abilities than children who were not read to regularly.
- At age five, children who are read to regularly from birth may know up to one million more words thantheir peers who were not. This is especially important when children start school.
- Reading is an important part of your baby’s development. There is no app to replace your lap when it comes to early brain benefits for babies. Young children, especially those under the age of three, learn through direct human interaction. Reading with your baby helps foster early learning.
What YOU can do
You are your baby’s first and most important teacher. When you read with your baby, you bond with your baby. You can foster a love of books through shared reading, close skin-to-skin contact, and nurturing touches as you read.
Talk with your baby
Just hearing your voice helps with a baby’s brain growth and development. Studies show that children learn best when listening to your voice. Be sure to talk to them as you go about your daily routine. As you read, narrate the pictures and make sound effects too.
Relax with a book
Research shows that when you and your baby read together, stress and anxiety go down for BOTH of you.