Reading to your baby – Why the American Academy of Pediatrics urges it!

In June, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement asking pediatricians to talk to parents about the numerous benefits of reading aloud with their children, and how critical it is for children’s brain development, language skills and social skills. Dr. Pamela High, a pediatrician and professor at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School was the lead author on the new statement. She has stated that reading to your child everyday helps build a healthy parent-child relationship because it’s an opportunity for one-on-one interaction. Kids who are read to everyday have stronger language skills when they reach kindergarten, and are therefore more prepared to learn to read. That then predicts that those kids are more likely to graduate from high school.

So, reading to your child is extremely important! If you are not already doing it, start forming the habit today! You might wonder what babies think when they look at books. Although a baby doesn’t understand what the pictures or words mean, at around four months he or she is able to focus on them. Staring at pictures is one of the initial steps in picture recognition, a key skill that leads to comprehending the meaning of pictures and words. Babies will gaze at a picture for several moments and show clear interest in its colors and shapes, drawn to brightly colored pages. It is very common for babies to show preference for a particular page of a book by staring at it longer than other pages. Early experiences with books will familiarize your child with them and create interest in reading, so it’s never too early to start.veryhungrycaterpillar

A book that is sure to get your baby’s attention, and one of my personal favorites, is The Very Hungry Caterpillar a classic written and illustrated by Eric Carle.  Its bright colors and interactive format will invite your child to participate in a counting game and even expose him or her to the days of the week. This is definitely a great book to add to your child’s bookshelf!

Have book recommendations of your own? Please feel free to share them by writing a comment below! Keep coming back for more information about the perks of reading to your child and suitable book suggestions!

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