Top 3 Benefits of Reading to Your Baby

Reading to your baby is one of the best activities you can share together. Not only is it fun, it also sets the foundation for a long list of benefits that your child will enjoy later on.

Here is an interesting read about why you should start reading to your infant as early as now.

The Earlier The Better

Recent studies show that no child is too young to reap the rewards of reading.

According to the latest research, the quality and quantity of shared book reading in infancy predicted later childhood vocabulary, reading skills, and name writing ability.

At what age should you start? There is an interesting study by the Brain, Cognition, and Development Lab of the University of Florida that shows how much infants benefit from reading. The researchers wanted to find out the impact of book reading in early infancy, and if the type of book you read to your infant mattered.

Here is a quick recap of their research:

  • They brought 6-month old infants into their lab to see how much attention they paid to characters they had never seen before.  They used electroencephalography (EEG) to measure their brain responses.
  • The research team tracked infants’ gaze using eye-tracking technology to see which characters they focused on and how long their attention span was.

The babies were sent home divided into three groups.

  • One group of parents read their infants storybooks that contained six individually named characters they had never seen before.
  • The second group were give the same storybooks that gave the same name to all the characters.
  • And the third group of parents didn’t read anything special for the study.

The infants came back after three months.

The researchers found that the babies in the first group showed enhanced attention and could distinguish individual characters.

Young infants are able to use labels to learn about the world around them. Reading books together with your baby positively impacts development during their first year of life.

Top 3 Benefits of Reading to Your Baby

1. It is an unbeatable bonding experience

When you spend time reading a book to your baby, your sole attention is on him or her.            This is quality time you’ll cherish forever.

2. It builds brain power

Reading to your baby is also more than bonding. You’re fostering a love for reading at an early age and supporting language and cognitive development. When you read to your child, you’re introducing emotion through the many sounds you make. This introduces your baby to the sounds and rhythm of speech that is crucial for language development.

3. Helps baby feel loved and happy

Most of the brain’s development happens in the first 18 months of life. Sensory experiences like seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting helps your child learn. Studies say that one major helper in building brain connections is serotonin, the neurotransmitter that brings feelings of well-being and happiness. When a child has your attention during story time, he or she feels loved. This naturally boosts baby’s production of serotonin.

Pick the Right Kind of Books

Enjoy the experience of choosing books for your baby. Infants benefit most from books that have different characters. Since their vision is still developing, choose books with high-contrast pictures to help them see better.

At about 7 months of age, your baby will start recognizing meaningful words like “mommy” and “daddy”. Naming characters and objects helps your baby realize that the pictures stand for actual things.

The verdict is in. It’s never too early to start exploring books and stories with your infant.

What are you waiting for, moms? The sooner you get your baby’s reading adventure started, the earlier your child can reap the rewards of reading!