My 4-week-old daughter suffers from extreme gas pain that leaves her spending very few waking hours in a content, attentive state. Our lives for the past month have literally been about near-constant soothing over 90% of the time she's awake. Through generous application of the 5 S techniques from Dr. Karp's "Happiest Baby on the Block" we are able to keep her below the 3-hours-a-day 3-times-a-week qualification to officially declare her as colicky, but if we weren't constantly soothing her, I'm sure that she'd qualify.
I'd like to do everything I can to give her every advantage. One component of that should be reading to her regularly. However, with constant pain and the related crying/soothing there seems to be no opportunities left to read to her. The amount of time she spends in a quiet, attentive state each day measures in a handful of minutes. We're spending those moments talking to her, getting face-to-face time, and occasionally introducing high-contrast visual stimuli.
When should we become concerned about not having enough time spent reading? Is there any benefit to reading to her while she is sleeping?
I'm not so much worried about the time spent right now, but if this continues for 3, 6, or 9 months (as we've heard could be the case), then I'm concerned that the only word she'll know is "Shhhhhhh"