(KUTV) Studies show babies who are read to as infants have better literacy skills later in childhood. This is why reading to newborns is so important for their long-term development. Babies learn how to listen and begin to recognize sounds from the day they are born.
“That skill of listening goes so far into how they take turns during conversations or learning to interact socially, learning to communicate in general,” says Jennifer Cieslewicz a speech pathologist at Intermountain Medical Center.
This is why Intermountain and the Salt Lake County Library system have created a program called “Books for Baby.”
“We have the objective of getting a book into each new mom’s hands as the baby is born,” says Nathan Peterson, community relations director for Intermountain Healthcare’s Central Region.
Every new mom is given a “Rock-a-Bye Baby” book that is filled with nursery rhymes, colorful pictures, and some tips for parents. It gives you ideas of how to share books with your baby. It reminds parent not to worry about reading every word or getting through an entire book during story time.
“I tell parents all the time, the best toy for your baby from birth is your interaction, your face, your voice,” says Cieslewicz.
Each kit is available in both English and Spanish and includes an early literacy star as well as an invitation to get a library card.
“The babies can get their very own library card and then you have access to all of the books and materials and early learning resources we have at the library,” says Anna Zanarini a children’s librarian with Salt Lake County Library Services.