How To Read With Your Newborn To Promote Bilingualism
Maybe you were gifted a book for your baby shower, like Binibi’s bilingual baby books, that you aren’t quite sure how to use with your newborn– or, maybe, you’ve heard that exposing babies to language early on is important and want to read to yours, but don’t exactly know how to do this with a baby that can’t engage yet. Whatever your situation may be, we’re here to help you get started on your reading journey as a way to help promote neural connections, introduce language and stimulate your little one from their earliest days!
As recently new moms, we felt inspired to share some of the ways we’ve been using Binibi bilingual sound books to stimulate our own babies, promote bilingualism, and instill a love for reading. Though it may feel silly at first, it’s never too early to start reading to your baby! In fact, initiating your child’s literacy journey early on is crucial; a baby’s brain absorbs language before he or she even begins speaking as the brain is most absorbent for language learning during ages 0-5. When a baby gets exposed to new vocabulary words often, he or she begins to learn them. This is especially important when it comes to introducing a second language at home, since you have the ability to set your baby up for bilingualism success by simply exposing them to the target language early on.
Here are five of our favorite ways to use children’s sound books to promote bilingualism with your newborn baby:
1. Looking at the images together: Detailed and vibrant images like those found inside Binibi’s bilingual books for kids are meant to encourage and facilitate a dialogue between parent and child! When the illustration is packed with detail, you can point out different things to your baby as a great way to introduce new words or simply talk to them! Point to elements with your finger as you describe the image to your newborn and take turns saying them in both languages to start exposing them to bilingualism early on.
2. Playing the music in a musical book & singing along: Musical books, like Binibi’s musical books, are an amazing way to combine both the reading experience with fun, engaging songs that feature rhyme & repetition to help with language acquisition. As your baby looks at the book, play the songs and sing and dance along to your favorite nursery rhymes in Spanish. This will not only stimulate your baby and expose them to language early on, but also start to develop their love for music!
3. Read them together: Though your baby is too young to understand what’s being read to them, you can still read them a bilingual book. Your baby loves and finds comfort in hearing your voice, so reading a story is no different. Talking to your baby stimulates them and promotes neural connections! Your baby may even look at the images as you read. Binibi’s sound books are perfect for babies as they feature short sentences with key words bolded in both languages to help parents match the words in Spanish and English. As you keep on reading, you’ll be setting the stage for a habitual reading practice in your home that is extremely important for introducing a second language.
4. Hand your baby the book to explore on their own: As your newborn gets a bit older, they’ll start to become more aware of the world around them and grow interested in touching and mouthing different objects (even those not meant to be mouthed!). Giving your baby the freedom to play with a book as they please, even if it’s just mouthing or touching it, lets them explore their curiosity and become familiar with books. Lucky for you, Binibi sound books are specifically made for little hands, mouths and eyes with their round edges, thick pages and visually stimulating illustrations.
5. Use them for tummy time: Say hello to your new tummy time hack! Tummy time isn’t always babies’ favorite activity, but placing objects in front of them that grab their attention is a great way to encourage them to stick it out. That said, sound books make excellent tummy time additions as little ones enjoy looking at the vibrant images while listening to the catchy songs or exciting sounds. With five different songs or sounds in each page, Binibi’s bilingual children's books offer plenty of entertainment to make working out those little muscles bearable and even exciting!
Babies enjoy listening to their parents’ voices, so even if they are too young to understand the words being said or sung, they can certainly feel the closeness of their parents, feel soothed and enjoy the bonding experience. Though your baby may not respond or engage like an older child would, they can certainly stare at images in a book while listening to the sounds or songs. Most importantly, they can begin to get accustomed to the reading experience by mom or dad’s side!