When Should We Start Reading to Baby?

When Should We Start Reading To Baby?

When should you start reading to your baby? You should start the moment you first think to yourself, “When should I start reading to my baby?” You can’t be faulted for not having thought of it before, but now that it’s occurred to you, you should get started! Because your baby will benefit from it no matter how early you begin.

This is another of the myths we’ve been busting in recent posts. In numerous circles we’ve heard the idea that children under one are too young for reading. This is, of course, not at all true. While it’s accurate to say that babies under one are too young to read on their own (well, of course they are), even young infants can benefit from being read to.

Reading to babies as young as six months can lead to larger vocabularies and stronger early literacy skills. In truth, the sooner you start, the better. Reading aloud stimulates your child’s nascent language skills, activating parts of the brain associated with language acquisition and meaning. Your baby’s cognitive thinking skills and working memory get a boost as well. And those quiet moments you spend reading together will deepen your bond and strengthen your emotional connection.

So when should you start reading to your baby? You should be reading this article to them right now! We’ll wait while you get them tucked in.

You Can Start Reading to Your Baby Today

It’s easy to work reading into your daily routines. We joked a moment ago about reading this article to your infant, but in truth, it’s a fine idea. Anything that increases interactions between you and your baby is beneficial. If you’re busy and don’t have much time, just read your baby what you’re reading yourself (assuming it’s kid-friendly.)

Of course, your baby will probably benefit more from stories written with them in mind. So pick up a book whenever the moment presents itself. Have them spend time with you at the library while you pick out books. They may be too young to participate, but the practice will make reading a more accessible, more frequent part of your life. And it could create a habit your child will continue once they’re older.

The simplest way to start a regular reading regimen is to work it into your bedtime routine. There’s nothing better than sending them off to dreamland with a happy story carried by the sound of your voice.

Working Reading Into a Bedtime Routine

Creating a consistent bedtime routine that incorporates books is beneficial to your baby’s reading readiness and is also a special way to bond with your sweetie each night. It’s the best way to end their day and yours!

Get your little one’s room ready for nighttime by closing the shades and dimming the lights. Have them dressed for bed and prepared to settle down. Cradle them as you sit for a feeding, and then open a book and read. It’s the baby equivalent of dinner and a movie.

It’s okay if your baby can’t see the pictures. Particularly while they’re very young, it’s most important that they can hear your voice. Later, as their awareness develops, they’ll take more of an interest in the pictures, and then you can enjoy that aspect of the books with them, too!

So yes, unless your baby is a certified child prodigy, they’re almost certainly too young to be reading on their own before one. But if you’re interested in getting them reading on their own sooner, with a deeper appreciation of books, you should drop everything you’re doing and start reading to them this instant. Or, you know, soon. Tonight’s great. Start then.

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Dr. Eddie Valenzuela is an award winning pediatrician and the founder and CEO of Pediatric Solutions, LLC.

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