Early exposure to reading can increase a child’s chances of future academic success. Reading experience, as well as exposure to rich conversations, help improve a child’s vocabulary and ability to communicate.
This is not good news for children who live in poverty. Research has found that there are a dozen or more books per child in neighborhoods with average incomes; however, in poor neighborhoods you will only find one book for every three hundred children. Additionally, there is significantly less conversation between these parents and their children. These issues lead to limited exposure to reading for children living and poverty.
What does this mean? By the time they are school age, these children have 25% of the vocabulary than children from middle-income neighborhoods, which puts them below the national norms with language and pre-reading skills.
Many organizations in the United State are working to decrease this gap, by making books available to those who cannot afford them. They are working to increase the access of low-income families to books. For more information, visit their websites.
Do you have a baby on the way? Are you a new mother? Have you heard that breastfeeding makes your baby smarter? Certain studies have indicated that breastfed babies eventually do better on cognitive tests and make higher grades in school than non-breastfed infants. However, the research supporting breastfeeding is even stronger regarding the following issues. Breastfed babies have a lower incidence of middle ear infections, a reduced risk of asthma, and a reduced risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Try to breastfeed for at least six months, and if possible, a full year. The longer your infant gets the nutritional value of your breast milk, the better.
It’s not just your little one that benefits. Nursing strengthens the bond between you and your infant, and you may find that it reduces your stress levels. Research has revealed that medical bills are less for breastfed babies compared to formula fed babies. Of course, everyone wants a healthier infant, and for a working mother, this means fewer sick days.
Critical brain development occurs during the first three years of life and nursing your infant gives your baby a wonderful start.
As a parent, do you dread tummy time? Does your baby cry every time you position her on her belly? Tummy time that is provided on a daily basis leads to the mastery of important motor milestones, such as rolling over, pulling up, and crawling. Also, infants who aren’t exposed to tummy time are at risk for motor skill delays and developing flat spots on the head.