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Early academics are the norm in most developed countries now. There is no doubt that very young children, including babies, are a lot more aware of their surroundings than we tend to give them credit for. And of course, stimulation does help the brain to develop. But is there really any point in reading books to your newborn?

Do you feel guilty about not having the time to read several books to your newborn at bed time, to your baby whose umbilical cord stump has just fallen off? That definitely isn't necessary. The first few months are wonderful for getting to know your baby. Most new mothers naturally talk to their babies and sing to them, and that's great for bonding and gets them used to communicating with people.

But newborns don't, generally, get much more out of being read to then they would get by listening to their mom's chatter. Whether you talk about dusting the house, your baby's poopy diaper, read them Shakespeare or just sing any song, it will all be the same to your baby... as long as you are doing it lovingly. Of course, mothers who enjoy reading books to their babies out loud have no particular reason not to. It's even better if you just read the book you are reading for your own pleasure out loud; that will give you some intellectual stimulation, and send the baby off to sleep.

Not reading books to a baby regularly or at all won't doom them forever, and determine that they won't get into a good college or enjoy books later on in life. What babies need is love, warmth, and nutrition. Books are not something to stress about, and your child can learn to read at 4 even if he didn't see a book in the first few months of life.

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