When to start reading to your baby

From day dot your baby is picking up cues from their environment. Listening, understanding and being able to follow a story is pivotal to the early development of every child.


Studies have shown that children that have been read to from an early age have been shown to have improved language skills, an increased interest in reading as well as being better equipped for preschool and kindergarten.

When deciding the appropriate time to start reading with your child, it can be done as promptly as you wish. When starting early, begin with your baby on your lap giving them the ability to hold or more likely trying to eat the book.

If the truth be known, the babies just love an opportunity to snuggle and it’s a fantastic association for them to link reading with that cosy warmness.

When reading with toddlers, it’s important to create a consistent time e.g. bedtime and space for the activity. The reading environment should be comfortable and free from distractions, such as the television or other noisy family members.

Include your child in the reading process and increase their learning capabilities with asking questions about what your reading or the pictures they see. Questions such as ‘Where is the pig?’ or ‘what sound does the horse make?’ keeps reading time fun and enjoyable.

When reading a story early on, start with a few minutes and begin to increase this as the child grows older and has a better ability of staying engaged. Make sure to keep them engaged with the use of acting, character voices and fluctuations in tone.

Change up the story’s dependant on the age of the child and their interests. Babies love books filled with bright, interesting things to look at and touch. As the child gets older, books that make noises and have more elaborate pictures are better suited.

Ultimately, keep stories exciting and diverse and look into best-selling stories like The Hungry Caterpillar and well-known authors such as Dr. Seuss or Roald Dahl for inspiration.

There’s nothing better than passing on stories to your kids that you have loved. The Hungry Caterpillar is an Earlybirds favourite – what are yours?