The special bond between parent and child
There are so many benefits to reading to babies – from encouraging early language and brain development to fostering imagination. But most of all, reading together creates a special bond between parent and child.
As a first-time mom and new to her Kitchener neighbourhood, Britlyn was looking for ways to be engaged in her community. She wanted to connect with other parents and give Rowan the opportunity to socialize with other babies. After researching online, she came across the Baby Connections® program offered at the Kitchener Public Library’s Country Hills branch. The program was delivered in six 30-minute sessions in which Britlyn sang songs and read stories with Rowan. She chatted with parents and even engaged with them in other baby programs offered in their neighbourhood. A new community and a new network for Britlyn had opened up.
While sharing books was already part of their routine, Britlyn learned additional tips to use at home and Rowan’s love of books continued to grow. “It’s a quiet and calm activity we can do together,” Britlyn said. “Reading at this age can also be very interactive, with all the pictures, and asking questions like ‘what’s going to happen next’. It helps lay the groundwork for later perspective-taking.” At nine months old, Rowan already has favourite books. “He plays with them, he opens them up, and he’s starting to turn the pages,” his mother said. “Reading is something very special we do and I love spending that quality time with Rowan.”
Each year, more than 440 families go through a Baby Connections program. Whether they engage with their babies in new or more meaningful ways, make new friends, or build their support networks, the benefits of the program are endless. A lifelong love of reading and learning makes all the difference, and the earlier we start the better.