Read aloud! Read from birth! Read daily!

You know reading to children is beneficial.

Reading to children introduces them to a large range of vocabulary, it promotes literacy understanding, social etiquette and society rules (depending on the stories you read), understanding print concepts and builds a solid base for future literacy based activities (our world is communicated in print).

But read to babies?

Yes! Start from the beginning… it’s easy to do and is important for the baby and for the reader…

Immersed in books…

Here’s some research into this:

  • Infants are learning about language long before they speak it
  • Lap reading with a trusted adult builds bonds between child and carer
  • Reading aloud increases vocabulary and has been identified as the single most important factor for building knowledge that leads to reading success
  • Language acquisition and development is improved by reading aloud, providing an understanding and conversation around the meanings and use of words.
  • Children under three years of age benefit from rhyme and repetition in order to identify sounds and patterns in language
  • Reading aloud contributes to improved comprehension because of the conversations that occur around the topic or problem encountered in a book.
    • Brain research highlights the importance of the first three years of life by the National Institute on Deafness and other Communicative Disorders (NIDCD) (2014). Birth to three years is the most sensitive time for the acquisition of speech and language. Critical periods open during the first two years that provide optimal learning for speech and language to be absorbed, and it is during this time that the foundations are laid for future reading proficiency and school readiness.”

And my favourite:

  • Babies who were read to from birth improves their chances of becoming a happy & successful human being!!!

The following is an extract from Reading to Babies: Exploring the beginnings of literacy (2019). These are fantastic recommendations for parents and educators of young children are based on the results of the study by Towell, Bartram, Morrow & Brown (2019):

  • Establish routines for reading aloud at home and in the early childcare programme – naptime, bedtime, mealtime or bath time;
  • Take books wherever you go, to allow for teachable moments;
  • Read fiction and nonfiction picture books about familiar topics of interest to children;
  • Choose books connected to a child’s native language and cultural background or ethnicity;
  • Select different genres with engaging illustrations, including poetry, biographies, fairy tales, and informational books from the local library and bookstores;
  • Encourage young children to repeat words to promote expressive language development and point to images and illustrations to support receptive language development;
  • Ask questions and make comments throughout the book, adding gestures and sound effects for entertainment;
  • Use an animated voice while reading with expression, intonation, joy and excitement;
  • Pay attention to an infant’s or child’s cues. If he/she is not interested in one book, choose another book or activity;
  • Make personal connections to the story to enhance the shared reading experience;
  • Create books with children based on personal stories and use these for reading aloud; and
  • Read books that were your own childhood favourites to share the joy of reading with children.
Libraries are free!

Please visit your local library and talk to the staff, they can recommend books for you and help you register for any great free activities available. You can also purchase books from many bookshops, chain stores and websites… including Please Don’t Cry from this website 🙂   


Towell, J.L., Bartram, L., Morrow, S. & Brown, S. L. (2019). Reading to babies: Exploring the beginnings of literacy. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 0, 1-17, Florida Atlantic U

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