I’m a passionate reader and because of that, I’ve always been equally passionate about reading to my boys. Since the day they were born and even before that, I would read my favourite books from my own childhood out loud to them.
And while I mostly started reading to them because I enjoyed it, I saw for myself the other benefits that it had for my children. Encouraging their love of reading helped improve their language development and other early learning skills…which then increased their success when the time came to go to school!
While there are many wonderful benefits of reading to your baby, here are four of the key ones to keep in mind:
Early Reading Helps Increase School Readiness
Readiness studies show that babies who are read to from a young age thrive later in life. Even if they aren’t talking yet, they are still learning, according to developmental psychologist Carolyn Cates, a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at NYU Langone Medical Center.
Studies also suggest that reading to your baby can promote literacy and language development in children. How? The act of reading gets them accustomed to listening and focusing, which are skills your child’s teacher will thank you for instilling in your little one.
Reading Encourages Skill Development
Playtime is extremely important for babies. But when they are little, it can be hard to come up with things to do with them, since they aren’t very mobile yet. This is the perfect time to start a good storytime routine during the day, before bed, or both.
Reading aloud to your infant has been proven to stimulate their language skills, cognitive thinking, and memory enhancement as early as the newborn stage. All of these skills are instrumental to a child’s development.
While they won’t understand what you’re reading at that point, infants can still pick up patterns in the rhythm, tone, and inflection in your voice as you read to them. This helps to engage your child and can encourage creativity and curiosity in young minds.
Reading Builds Vocabulary
Although your little one might not be speaking yet, they will start before you know it! And reading to them can help that happen more quickly. Kids being read to and spoken to frequently in the home are shown to have a much wider vocabulary than those who mainly watch TV or engage in minimal socialization during their youth.
Research shows that children’s books have about 50% more unique words than a television show or a standard conversation between two adults. Some of the best board books for babies are ones with unique words and phrases that get those little minds thinking from an early age, so by reading to your child, you are allowing them to build their literary arsenal one book at a time.
It’s Great Bonding Time
Reading not only helps set your child up with great vocabulary skills and a love of reading, but it is also a wonderful chance for you and your baby to bond. Babies know their parents’ voices before they are even born, so listening to you read to them is a familiar and soothing experience.
Reading before bedtime can also be a great part of their nightly routine and can help them fall asleep more quickly. You’ll also get to see your little one react to the different stories you read and noises you make, possibly even garnering a response!
Nothing is greater than reading a book to your child and watching their eyes light up at something that amazes them, or seeing a laugh springing forth when you say a funny word! Reading to your child can be done one-on-one, or you can make it into a group activity with the whole family.
No matter what you choose, all of the research agrees: reading to your children helps develop a bond between parent and child and will start them off on the right foot developmentally. Baby subscription boxes allow you to never be at a loss for what to read to your baby, so check out Lillypost’s book subscription boxes tailored specifically for babies to ensure you receive new books to share with your little one each month.