Why you Should Read to your Baby

Toddler Reading a book resizedDo you read to your baby? The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued new guidelines that recommend that parents read to their newborn infants. Some parents may not be doing that because it never occurred to them that babies benefit from being read to. There are some very good reasons for parents to read to their babies and young children!

The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that parents who read to their children nurture not only their children’s literary skills, but also much more. They have put together some easy to read information that points out the benefits that come from reading to infants and children.

In addition to asking that parents read to their infants, the American Academy of Pediatrics is also recommending that pediatric providers of health care advise parents of young children to read out loud to them. Parents should also talk with their young children about the pictures that are in the book they are reading. They should use age-appropriate books, of course.

Did you know that reading proficiency by the third grade is the most significant predictor of whether or not a child will graduate from high school? How well (or poorly) a child reads when he or she is in the third grade is also a predictor of that child’s eventual career success. One way to improve a child’s future is to start working on literary skills as soon as possible.

What benefits do children who are read to during infancy and preschool years receive? They start school with better language skills than their peers who were not read to. They also are more interested in reading than their peers who were not read to. It is easy to see how an interest in reading, combined with good language skills, can result in a child who has an intrinsic interest in learning.

There is another interesting thing that happens when parents read to their infants and young children. Doing so helps parents to create a nurturing relationship with their child. That type of relationship is very important for a child’s cognitive, language, and social-emotional development.

Children think that their parents are amazing, remarkably important, people. They become very influenced by their parents words and actions. Parents who read to their infants and young children are showing the child that reading is important, fun, and a good way to form a bond with someone that they love.

It has been said many times that the best way to ensure that a child develops a love for reading is for that child’s parents to not only read to the child, but also to read books themselves. Children mimic what they see their parents doing. Let your children “catch” you reading a book!

Image by KOMUnews on Flickr.

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