As if we needed more information to link improved academic achievement in children with early exposure to reading! NYU’s School of Medicine completed a recent study that demonstrated a clear link between time spent reading to babies and their range of vocabulary in childhood.
In fact, they suggest that you shouldn’t wait until your child is a toddler to start, either–you should begin reading to your baby from infancy! They suggest that bedtime reading, beginning in infancy, creates a positive association with books and reading which will last them well into elementary school.
Their study was comprised of 250 mother/baby couples at a public hospital in an urban area. They were asked to keep account of how well their children understood new words over the next 4.5 years. At the end of that period, the data was cross-referenced with the amount of time spent reading with the children and how many books were present in their home. Additionally, the researchers took into account whether the stories they were read were age appropriate and whether parents had conversations with their children about the reading material. Adjustments were made for socioeconomic differences, but overall, the conclusion was that increased time spent doing quality reading vastly enhanced understanding and vocabulary in children by the time they turned four.
Dr. Carolyn Cates, lead author of the study, noted that “these findings are exciting because they suggest that reading to young children, beginning even in early infancy, has a lasting effect on language, literacy, and early reading skills…What they’re learning when you read with them as infants still has an effect four years later when they’re about to begin elementary school.”
So, while it may seem a little silly to read to your newborn, you’ll be doing your child a favor by doing your part now to build his/her vocabulary and cognitive skills!
YouTube Channel: CNN
Featured image via Baebii
h/t Consumer Affairs