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The Joy and Benefits of Reading to Infants

Mother showing images in a book to her cute baby son at home

Kweli Archie

Reading to infants is like “watering a plant.” It contributes to the development of their growing brains and gives them a good start towards a lifelong love of reading. Reading to infants helps with speech development as they listen and begin learning about speech patterns. Infants tune into the rhythm and cadence of our voices, especially the familiar voices of their parents and caregivers. Although they may not fully understand the meaning, the infants are keenly listening to the sounds of the language and how the words fit together. As infants see a picture in a book and you name that picture, they begin to make the connection between what you say and the picture. The more you read the same book, the stronger the connection. The repetitive story line makes the book enjoyable, engaging, and simple to remember. Reading to infants also grows their vocabulary: first their comprehension of vocabulary and later their expression of vocabulary.

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