read aloud

This Is What Happens When You Read Aloud To Your Baby

Originally posted on Moms Magazine

Next to hugging your child, reading aloud is probably the longest lasting experience that you can put into your child’s life. You will savor it long after they have grown up. Reading aloud is important for all the reasons that talking to children is important – to inspire them, to guide them, to educate them, to bond with them and to communicate your feelings, hopes and fears. You are giving children a piece of your mind and a piece of your time.” Jim Trelease

It seems just like yesterday when I read aloud to my babies. Every night, I read aloud to them since birth. Every night, I loved this special time to cuddle when their chubby fingers would point to pictures in the book.

Every night, I did it because the “How to Be A Good Parent” books told me to do it. Back then, I didn’t know the outcome. I just did like any parent who wants the best for their child would do. I read aloud to my babies from birth to their teen years.

In fact, every night, I’d sometimes have to read the same book for the 100th time. (You know what I’m talking about.) However, I truly didn’t get annoyed. I’m a teacher. So, I know that when your child wants you to read the same book over and over again, it’s called imprinting. It is an important step of their language development. The repetition leads to retention.

So, the next time you think you’re going to lose your mind by reading the same book for the um-teenth time, just smile knowingly that you are positively developing your baby’s language. It’s part of the aloud

Now, those babies that I faithfully read to every night are in their late teens. Now, I see the fruit and wisdom of reading aloud to your baby from birth.

One is in college. He struggled learning to read overcoming mild dyslexia. I shudder to think how much more challenging reading would have been for him if I’d not faithfully read aloud to him since birth. The other, well, he is an avid reader. He always has his nose stuck in a book, and he knows things way beyond his years.

The experts are right, reading aloud to your baby from birth is the single most important activity you can do to build knowledge required for success in reading.

But, you don’t have to take my word for aloud

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and other trusted sources, this is what happens when you read aloud to your baby.

  • Reading aloud to your baby stimulates their brain

Check out this amazing research. 90% of a baby’s brain is developed between birth and age 5. Reading aloud creates more language development.

  • Babies learn to associate books with love and affection
  • Babies and parents bond
  • Creates security

Reading made me feel safe. It helped me understand the world I live in.” – Kate DiCamillo, two-time Newbery Medal winner

  • Reading aloud to your baby builds vocabulary

Children who grow up in homes where they are read to and talked to regularly will have a much greater vocabulary. Reading aloud also provides children with vocabulary words that they will use throughout life. Research shows that the average children’s books contain 50 percent more unique words than a television show or a typical conversation between two educated adults. While babies may not understand the concepts and story lines of books, hearing your voice is comforting and, in time, your child will find meaning in the words you are using. In fact, the more words parents use when speaking to an 8-month-old infant, the greater the size of their child’s vocabulary at age 3.

  • Builds listening, attention, and memory skills
  • Helps babies make connections to the real world
  • Creates the language foundation necessary to succeed in school
  • It creates a love of literacy

In summary, research shows that it’s best to instill a love of books and reading by reading aloud to your child beginning at birth. Reading aloud to your baby is nurturing and develops a bond with your child that they will never forget. They establish a positive connection between books, reading, and love and affection.

Like my children, children who grow up in families that embrace and encourage reading are more likely to have success in reading and develop a love of literacy. So, please read aloud to your baby because one day, they will read to you.

If you enjoyed this article, you will probably like:

What Every Parent Needs To Know About Reading To Their Baby

5 Secrets To Reading Aloud Success

Let’s make a positive difference~ one word at a time.


Please share this article with others that you think would benefit from these tips. Also, please ask any questions that you may have about teaching children reading or writing. Leave your questions in the comments. I’ll answer.

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7 responses to “This Is What Happens When You Read Aloud To Your Baby”

  1. Leah Courtney Avatar

    This is so true. And I would add that the benefits don’t end after babyhood. It’s just as important to read aloud to older kids even if they can read to themselves! I’m pinning. 🙂

    1. Pamela Hall Avatar
      Pamela Hall

      Thank you. You are right. I read aloud to my kids until they were teens. Then, they didn’t want me to read to them; so, I had them listen to audio books to continue to expand their vocabulary and literacy skills. Thank you so much for pinning. 🙂
      Together, we make a positive difference ~ one word at a time. 🙂

  2. Jessica Avatar

    My husband and I were both book worms growing up, so reading to our kids is just something that we do. There are books that we absolutely have memorized by now, but that’s perfectly fine with me. Our kids love it, and sometimes, I even catch the two year old “reading” to her younger sister. 😉

    1. Pamela Hall Avatar
      Pamela Hall

      It is so great that you read to your little ones. I love it that your two year old “reads” to her younger sister. This is how it starts. 🙂 You and your husband are fabulous role models- keep up the great job. 🙂
      Together, we make a positive difference ~ one word at a time.

  3. Mary Hill Avatar

    Hi, so true and cute. I used to love to read to my girl (now 12) when she was a baby. I loved how her lit up and she smile when she heard me read. She loved to cuddle when I read to her. Now, she is a lover of books and straight A student! I hope you link up with us this week at Literacy Musing Mondays. This post is a great match:

    1. Pamela Hall Avatar
      Pamela Hall

      You are a testimony that reading aloud from birth works! 🙂
      Great job.
      Together, we make a positive difference ~ one word at a time. 🙂

  4. […] for the first five years of a child’s life develop a read aloud habit that will continue on through their teen years.  The benefits of reading aloud are all the […]

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