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Benefits of Reading Aloud to your Newborn

| Tips, Reading Aloud

There’s a lot happening in your little one’s brain at every age and stage. With that in mind, there are many benefits to reading aloud to your dear one everyday. That’s why Raising Readers’ committee of clinicians as well as emergent and early literacy experts takes special care to choose the perfect books for each age group before they make their way into your home libraries.

In this series, one of those experts, Kathryn Landon-Malone, PhD and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, shares what’s happening at each given age and why reading aloud to your little one helps foster their growth and development.

What is happening in your baby’s brain and body when they’re newborn?

Raising Readers understands newborns come to the world ready to connect and learn. Since there isn’t much before birth to see, vision is not as keen as the other senses at birth. Babies can focus and see well at a 1-2 foot distance. To help sharpen vision, we choose books with interesting colorful objects like checkerboards, spirals, bullseye targets, and especially faces. More importantly at this age, your little one just wants to feel safe and connected to you.

Here are some tips to help your baby connect with books and benefit from reading aloud when they’re infants:

  • When sharing a book with your newborn, go slowly. Baby brains need time to take in pictures and words.
  • Watch your baby scan the pages and notice what is focused on the most. 
  • When you read with your newborn, relax and snuggle in.
  • Choose times to read when you can be fully present and when your baby is awake and calm. This teaches babies that sharing a book is pleasant and feels safe and connected with love. Feeling safe, loved, and connected is the best container for learning.      

Want to learn more? See more of what’s happening and explore all the doctor-approved books we’ve given to newborns over the years on our website.