I never thought about it before being pregnant- but once we knew there was actually a baby in there, it felt natural for my husband and I to start reading the baby bedtime stories. I am a librarian after all! Some people thought it was weird and unnecessary to read to the unborn child, while others simply never heard of it happening.
I liked to read fun story time books I brought home from work- or early gifts that we received for baby. My husband on the other hand enjoyed reading baby the Federalist Papers. (Things got better once I convinced him that I could be sleeping while he was reading.)
I decided to research more about it and came to realize that this was actually a semi-common library practice. “Womb Literacy” or ” Stork Storytime” is a real thing. I’m still looking for some research studies (anybody want to do one?) but it seemingly helps baby’s recognize their parents voice, encourages good reading habits and helps parents and children bond.
The Iowa City Public Library has a “Belly Babies” program where they encourage expecting parents to read 50 books to their unborn babies. There’s even a blog post on the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten website that says Start Your 1000 Books Before Birth. There’s even a free Stork Storytime Toolkit from the North Liberty Library.
This is definitely something I should convince my library to start (once I get back from reading to my baby on maternity leave).