Reading to Infants

Question: I have heard that reading to very young children is a good idea. Should I be reading to my child who is only 8 months old? - New Mom

Answer: What you have heard is definitely correct. Reading to young children is one of the best things that parents can do for them. Many don't realize that so much of the intelligence that young children will ultimately have is developed before they even start kindergarten. When you read to young children, pathways in their brains are being built for successful reading experiences in the future. They begin to develop auditory perception that allows them to think about how words sound. Another positive reason for parents to start reading to young children is that reading stimulates children's language development because they are like little sponges imitating everything they hear.

As you read, young children are using their listening skills, and this will increase their vocabularies and help them use longer sentences. You are also increasing their attention spans and ability to focus on what is being said. Plus, they will delight in being held and quickly come to associate reading with love and attention.