There’s so much information available for expectant parents. Books, blogs, articles, videos and even memes all have truths to them. Expectant parents have to take the information and apply it to their situations with a grain of salt.
Not all information fits their situation. The same is true with information about your newborn baby. There are so many things about which parents need to be aware. Laws about car seats and how differently cribs are constructed now than they were only ten years ago. Health information about vaccine schedules and your baby’s nutritional needs. You’ll find so many people giving you differing advice and swearing that their way is the only right way. While a conversation with your new pediatrician will cover some of these bases, you won’t go to her for everything. Questions like when can babies sleep with a blanket and how early should I start to read to my baby can be answered a little more easily.
Even if you’re a new mom or dad, you’ve heard about SIDS. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome lurks in the back of every parent’s mind as a potentially unendurable nightmare. Largely unknown as to cause, there are some ways to minimize the risk, such as not placing objects in your baby’s crib that could cause suffocation. Your newborn isn’t strong enough to push that teddy bear off of his or her little body if he or she becomes trapped underneath the stuffed toy. Blankets can tangle and pillows can suffocate. Typically, you want to wait until your baby is about twelve months old before you introduce a light blanket. In the meantime, utilize blanket sleepers and footie pajamas of varying weights depending on the weather.
You may think it’s fine to wait until your baby is speaking before reading to him or her. That’s okay. However, experts agree that reading to your newborn right away is very helpful to both your child’s development and your own bonding with your child. Remember Tom Selleck as Peter in “Three Men and a Baby?” He was reading an article about boxing to Mary. She responded with rapt fascination. It wasn’t about the content of the article; it was about the connection he was building with the adorable little girl. Reading to your baby fosters bonding between you as you spend time together. You’re imbuing your child with the knowledge of his or her importance to you.
Additionally, there are significant learning benefits to reading early to your child. When you read to your baby, you’re teaching them language skills. You’re demonstrating how words sound and how they connect to one another. You’re introducing the concepts of vocabulary and context. Babies soak those things up as they build skills in listening and memory. Babies won’t remember what you’ve read to them, but they will retain the knowledge that reading is important. In addition to words and letters, reading to babies also helps to introduce numbers, shapes and colors.
New parents have so many challenges. Finding reliable information sources helps navigate parenthood.