In the first 3 months, picture books are fabulous in that they allow your baby to start training and focusing their eyes on simple patterns, shapes and colours. But if baby picture books bore you to tears, have no fear. Mix in some ‘older’ books that will be more interesting for you and have more complex tones, emotions and language. Or even read your own Book Club pick aloud. While your newborn or young infant doesn’t understand what you’re saying, the tones, inflections and rhythms of your voice can help prep them for language learning according to Kenneth Wible, MD, of Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Missouri. There are also a number of studies showing that the more words a baby is exposed to, the better prepared they are to develop language skills and to start reading on his own. One such study found that striking differences in vocabulary and language processing skills emerge as early as 18 months old, with children whose parents spoke to them the least, performing more poorly on standardized language tests, lagging behind their contemporaries by up to 6 months.
Starting solids is an exciting milestone in your baby’s life, but it can also be confusing, especially when you’re overloaded with conflicting information on how and when to do it.