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How to Read with your Child at Every Age

During those first few days and weeks of life, your newborn may not seem to be doing much on the outside – but on the inside, rapid brain development is underway. Help your boost newborn’s brain development by reading aloud daily.

Family of four reading together on couch

Eat, sleep, repeat. Although the typical routine for most newborns is fairly simple, did you know that during the first 100 days of life your baby’s brain develops the fastest?

Reading is a powerful way to help boost this brain development! As your newborn hears your words, brain-cell connections – called neural synapses – continue to form.

Here are some ideas and tips for reading with your newborn:
  • While you are feeding your baby, read a book aloud, tell a story, or sing a song.

  • Make reading a daily routine before naps and bedtime to help connect with and calm your baby.

  • While your newborn is in the crib, rocker, or swing, take a seat next to your baby and read a book (any book!) out loud.

  • Have fun while reading. Point out pictures, ask questions, make silly faces and funny voices. Your newborn will notice your expressions and gestures – and may even react, too!

  • Don’t have a book to read? No problem. Making up and sharing stories is as beneficial as reading, and your newborn will love it just the same.

When my babies were in the NICU at the hospital, I brought books with me at every visit. I would read aloud to them, partly to give me something to do and partly because I knew their brains could use all the activity they could get.
GeorgeFather of twins born prematurely

First 5 California
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First 5 California
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