Reading to Your Baby – When to Start And Benefits

5 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Reading to Your Baby

Reading to your baby aloud is one of the greatest gifts you can give your little one. It deepens the relationship between your little one and you or your partner while providing them with extraordinary language skills in the future. Do you know that certain types of books are meant for a specific age group of babies? Moreover, babies understand books better if you apply a few tactics.

It is never too early to start reading stories to your little one, ideally, you can start this by the time they hit the 4th-month mark. Reading aloud to your baby makes them grow on an emotional level. However, using digital devices and media to read won’t yield as many benefits as a physical book. This is the perfect article for you if you wish to read aloud to your little darling.

In This Article

Why is Reading to Your Baby Considered Good?

Reading to your baby provides many benefits to your baby. The advantages include:

  • Familiarizing them with the nuts and bolts of communication.
  • Effortlessly teaching them about many concepts linked to letters, numbers, shapes, and colors.
  • Levels them up in the aspects of listening, vocabulary, and memory skills.
  • Provides them with a little insight into the world.

When Should You Start Reading to Your Baby?

baby reading with family

While reading to your baby, you nourish the roots of their language tree. The earlier you begin, the more the tree will flourish in its later years. You can start reading to your baby as they reach their fourth month, though you can start a little later too, and continue reading to them for as long as you can. Make reading a bedtime activity to help them fall into a proper sleep routine.

Top Benefits of Reading Books to Your Baby

Benefits of Reading Books to Your Baby
The following are some of the benefits which your little one is going to enjoy through your reading routine:

1. It Makes Your Darling Smarter!

Reading exposes them to a wide variety of words along with concepts related to numbers. All this enriches their vocabulary and gives them a flair for numbers (useful in mathematics!).

2. Introduction of Emotions

They pick up the intricacies of your speech through your character voice acting and story narration. When you use different tones for describing different emotions, they begin to connect words and sounds to specific meanings.

3. It Builds an Affection For Reading

The more a person reads, the finer their life becomes. Love for reading and books from such an early age will stay with them throughout their life. Children often connect reading with boredom but your little one will always enjoy reading if you read to them from an early age.

Age by Age Tips For Reading to Your Baby

Here are the best practices and the approach you should take to get fruitful results from birth to 3 years of age:

Age of Baby Types of Books How Should You Read to Your Baby?
0 – 6 Months Chunky board books, vinyl bath books, or soft fabric books are the perfect fit for this age group. Babies are too small to interpret things at this age. However, your sounds and voices create a deep impact and form a bond between the two of you. Your company is very enriching to them. They will soon start to show their enthusiasm for this book reading routine with adorable kicks, tender eyes and a lovely smile. They may grab and chew the book out of sheer curiosity. Further, if they start crying, looking away, closing their eyes and arching back, you must take a break because it means they’re getting weary.
6 – 9 Months Start reading short and simple stories with lots of colours and illustrations. Consider Board books for your reading. If your baby begins opening, closing, touching and looking at the book(which they will), rejoice because it’s a sign they want to explore the book. By your darling’s behaviours and actions, you’ll know when they have recognised a story or a character.
9 – 18 Months Board games with repeating rhymes and phrases will do a splendid job to catch their attention. They’ll like it better if the stories have everyday objects, animals or even other infants. Your darling will tell you which story they want to read. Listen to them. Once they approach 12 months of age, show them the images and illustrations, ask questions like “Where is the tree?” and wait for their reaction.
18 – 24 Months Pick up stories with little more complex storylines. Silly rhymes and good humour should be the key aspect of your choice. By this age, they will begin to run here and there. They’re full of energy, so just keep reading, they’ll definitely come back out of their sheer curiosity. Their enormous energy can be utilised for learning. Ask them questions such as, “how does a rabbit hop?” and, “what sound does a cow make?” Moreover, questions which encourage them to think are the most rewarding. Go ahead and give them easy quizzes like, who is hiding behind the wall in the picture? It will make your lovely bird’s thinking and language skills strong.

Your baby won’t like the reading routine if you get tensed while reading. Treat the routine of reading to your baby as a way to relax and bond. Their angelic presence and blissful smile will surely melt all your worries.

[Read : Language Development of a Child]


1. What About ebooks, Audiobooks and Other Media For Babies?

Reading from a simple book will bear the sweetest fruit. Modern ebooks, DVDs and audiobooks can’t help you to form a deep bond with your baby because they lack a person’s physical presence and interaction.

2. When Can I Start Reading to My Baby?

While you can start at any time you wish to, 4 months or thereabouts are ideal. But, whenever you realize the benefits of reading to your baby, that’s also a wonderful time to begin.

3. What Are the Best Books to Read to My Baby?

Some of the best books are

  • “On the Night You Were Born” written by Nancy Tillman
  • “Time for Bed”  written by Mem Fox
  • “Everywhere Babies” written by Susan Meyers
  • “We are Family” written by Patricia Hegarty

Read Also: The Power of Children&’s Picture Books

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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