Why Read to My Baby?

Little Girl Reads a Story to Her Mother

via natalie maynor on Flickr

You may wonder about the benefits of reading to your baby. An infant won’t understand everything you’re doing or why. But you wouldn’t wait until your child could understand what you were saying before you started speaking to him or her, right? And you wouldn’t bypass lullabies until your baby could carry a tune or wait until he or she could shake a rattle before you offered any toys.

Reading aloud to your baby is a wonderful shared activity you can continue for years to come — and it’s an important form of stimulation.

Reading aloud:

  • teaches a baby about communication
  • introduces concepts such as stories, numbers, letters, colors, and shapes in a fun way
  • builds listening, memory, and vocabulary skills
  • gives babies information about the world around them

Believe it or not, by the time babies reach their first birthday they will have learned all the sounds needed to speak their native language. The more stories you read aloud, the more words your child will be exposed to and the better he or she will be able to talk. Hearing words helps to build a rich network of words in a baby’s brain. Kids whose parents frequently talk/read to them know more words by age 2 than children who have not been read to. And kids who are read to during their early years are more likely to learn to read at the right time.**

At the Glen Ellyn Public Library we have programs to help you start the lifelong habit of reading and improve literacy in your children from birth! Sign up now for our spring 5-week session for Level 1 (birth-9 months) Level 2 (6-24 months), Level 3 (18-36 months), or our newest Siblings for families with two or more children under age 6. You’ll get weekly literacy tip, new songs and books plus the opportunity to meet with other families who love the library. Click here for a full calendar of Read with Me programs at GEPL!

-Robin, Early Literacy Librarian

**This information was provided by KidsHealth®, one of the largest resources online for medically reviewed health information written for parents, kids, and teens. For more articles like this, visit KidsHealth.org or TeensHealth.org. © 1995- 2012 . The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Complete article: http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/learning/reading_babies.html

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