4 Benefits of Reading to Babies

Supporting Early Literacy at Home with Hello Library

Parents are often given an array of tips and advice when their new baby arrives, and this can be overwhelming. Between what experts say and what parents say, there can be a lot of varying opinions, but there’s one thing to agree on—reading to babies is an essential part of childhood development. According to the Center for Early Literacy Learning, the more an infant is read to and exposed to different words, the more positive the effects will be! Research consistently shows that reading to babies has life-long benefits. Here’s a list of just a few:

1. Reading sets them up to have a big vocabulary.

It may seem strange but reading to infants as young as three months old engages them in the English language and can help develop a bigger vocabulary later in life. By just seeing and hearing words, children are exposed to vocabulary that they might not have been otherwise. Researchers have found a strong positive correlation between a child’s vocabulary and the amount they were read to during infancy. One study even found that there is a million-word gap between children under the age of five that are read to numerous times a day and children that are not.

2. Reading is bonding time!

Having designated reading time exposes babies to sounds and sets aside time for you both to be engulfed by stories and characters, entering different literary worlds together. Babies become familiar with intonations and rhythmic tones as they are read to, and after a while, little ones will react to and engage with the stories.

3. Reading builds foundational skills.

Exposing babies to the English language with corresponding images has shown to enhance letter knowledge, vocabulary, and comprehension, while also prompting their curiosity and cognitive thinking.

4. Reading develops a relationship between children and books.

Beyond reading time being bonding time between parents and their children, designated reading time will help babies develop a love of reading that will grow as they grow. This development will help them to succeed later in life. Reading should be viewed as a fun, exploratory, and important aspect of life, rather than work for school. Being a positive and active reader during early childhood is one of the best predictors of success later in life.

All these reasons and many more are why we created the Highlights Hello Library box set to be baby’s first at-home library! This 24-book box set is aimed to help babies and toddlers get excited about reading. Each box set is accompanied by native English audio, a parent reading guide, and an expert learning video. The vocabulary features can teach over 200 English words! These colorful, beautifully illustrated books will begin any child’s love of reading and set them up for future successes. To learn more about the Hello Library box set, click here!

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