Reading to your infant is one of the most important things you can ever do. Reading aloud to your baby is a wonderful shared activity you can continue for years to come — and it's also important for your baby's brain. Reading aloud:
teaches a baby about communication
introduces concepts such as numbers, letters, colors, and shapes in a fun way
builds listening, memory, and vocabulary skills
gives babies information about the world around them
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 baby will hear and the better they'll be able to talk.
Hearing words helps to build a rich network of words in a baby's brain. Kids whose parents talk and read to them often 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.
When you read to your baby:
Your baby hears you using many different emotions and expressive sounds. This supports social and emotional development.
It encourages your baby to look, point, touch, and answer questions. This helps with social development and thinking skills.
Your baby improves language skills by copying sounds, recognizing pictures, and learning words.
But perhaps the most important reason to read aloud is that it makes a connection between the things your baby loves the most — your voice and closeness to you — and books. Spending time reading to your baby shows that reading is important. And if infants and children are read to often with joy, excitement, and closeness, they begin to associate books with happiness — and new readers are created.
So if you don't have any children literature books at home, head over to your nearest public library and choose a good book for you and your baby to enjoy.