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What are the benefits of reading to babies?

mom and son reading a children's book

Key points:
1. Reading aloud with children has numerous benefits for brain development, language skills, and social skills.
2. Daily reading builds a healthy parent-child relationship through one-on-one interactions.
3. Children who are read to daily have stronger language skills when entering kindergarten.
4. Reading to children fosters early picture recognition, an essential skill for comprehending words and pictures.

A few years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) 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 their brain development, language skills, and social skills. 

What are the benefits of reading to your child?

Dr. Pamela High, a pediatrician and professor at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School, was the lead author on the new statement. She said that reading to your child every day helps build a healthy parent-child relationship because it’s an opportunity for one-on-one interactions. Kids who are read to every day have stronger language skills when they reach kindergarten and are therefore more prepared to learn how to read.

Reading with your child is also good nowadays because with all the entertainment media it can be easier to just give your little one an electronic device (although it is recommended that parents limit screen time) and forget to spend time reading and helping them develop thanks to its benefits. If you need it, you can search for our posts about the benefits of reading and the ways you can read with your child

So, reading to your child is extremely important! If you are not already doing it, start forming the habit today!

Reading fosters development

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 they can 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; children are drawn to brightly colored pages. It is very common for babies to show a 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!

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 them to the days of the week. This is a great book to add to your child’s bookshelf!

Do you have any book recommendations of your own? Feel free to share them by writing a comment below! Keep coming back for more information about the benefits of reading to your child and to find more suitable book suggestions!


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