Is it Too Early to
Teach your Baby to Read?

What should you really expect?

At what age should you start to teach your baby to read? Infants start learning the minute they’re born. Your baby certainly isn’t going to be able to read a book and understand it, so what should you expect at this very early age?

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Infants (birth to 12 months)
  • Your baby will be able to look at pictures in a book and touch or mouth the pages

  • Your infant will benefit from the bond you will create as you hold him and cuddle with him while reading

  • At about 9 months, your baby can turn pages

  • Stories with rhymes can help calm your infant

  • Regular reading aloud to your baby fosters language and listening skills. This is the most important thing you can do for your baby. Research shows that the major factor in becoming a good reader is the development of good language skills during our earliest years. Studies also show that even reading to your baby in utero can have a positive impact. Babies inside the womb can actually recognize sounds from outside the womb; especially music and its mother’s voice.

How To Teach Your Baby To Read?

Toddlers (1 – 3 years old)

  • Toddlers get more involved and will want to hold the book and turn pages.
  • Children at this age will respond to the stories you read as well as the sound of your voice. They start to understand more and more words.
  • Toddlers can find objects on a page (so ask questions and talk about the pictures together)
  • They often pretend to read like their parents do
  • Kids this age are very energetic and don’t usually sit still for long periods of time so make reading sessions short and sweet and let them move around if they want to while you’re reading to them
  • Toddlers will try to read (made up words)

Tips for parents to teach your baby to read:

  • Make reading sessions short and fun with up to 2 to 3 sessions a day.
  • Repetition is important to very early readers.
  • Teaching reading starts with being a good role model. Set a good example even at this very young age.
  • Reading to your baby should be a very enjoyable experience for you AND your baby.
  • Choose books appropriate for infants and toddlers. Board books and cloth books are great for little ones who drop them and often chew on them. But make sure to pick books they love.
  • Make reading an everyday occurrence – Read Early and Often.
  • Bond with your baby during reading time; cuddles and hugs help associate reading time with pleasure.
  • It’s okay to start wherever in the book your toddler prefers; beginning, middle, and end are not critical in these kinds of books.

But, can your baby read; really read? Programs like Your Baby Can Read are very controversial. Critics say that babies just learn how to memorize without gaining any real comprehension, yet thousands of parents swear by these teach your baby to read programs. It's interesting to note, that most of those who are in favor of it are parents who have had success and those opposed often have never tried it.

Babies learn by touching, looking and listening so start reading to your child as soon as possible and do it often.

Click below for our early reading suggestions:

 Best books for Infants

Best books for Toddlers

Benefits of Reading Aloud

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