Reading Aloud: Start From Birth

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In Reading Magic , Mem Fox recommends parents stasrt reading to their children from birth (page 31).


Fox points out that the subject matter does not matter for babies. Just read. She also says children will sit still better for books if read to from a young age (34).


I have read to all of my children from birth. I really, really believe in it. My three oldest children (7, 5, and 3) are old enough I can see some benefit from my efforts. I can especially see it in my 7 year old who can read independently and absolutely loves it. He loves to read chapter books, and I love for him to read chapter books. I love when he asks me for just a few more minutes of reading time. Love it. This love of reading has always been my goal.


I also believe in reading to children from baby stage because my parents did it to me and I love to read. That is why I did it with my children even though I didn’t read a book on reading to children aloud until Brayden was 3-4 years old. I believe the ability to read gives you so much power in life. I can learn whatever I want to learn.


As for sitting still, my children do sit still, but I know I have heard from some of you who report reading from birth and still having a wiggly child who doesn’t want to sit still during reading time. Hang in there! The difficulty with parenting is that it isn’t done in a vacuum. You can’t know how your child would be if you didn’t read consistently. My sincere guess is your child does sit still better than he would otherwise, just like Fox says. Keep up your efforts and you will see progress over time.

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Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

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  1. Sheena
    December 6, 2012 / 5:23 PM

    I have read to my daughter since birth. She always sits still and wants to read books over anything else. She is 19 months old. Thx for the encouragement

  2. Shea Lafferty
    December 6, 2012 / 7:29 PM

    I began reading to my first son at birth, and he still loves books. He is very animated and active, but he will sit still to listen to a good book. I think it is good to start that early.

  3. Nicole
    December 7, 2012 / 9:17 AM

    I've been reading to my 14mo old since he was born (actually since I was pregnant ;)). Once he became mobile, I thought he would never sit still again for a book! I persisted and read to him even while he was moving around, and now he will bring books to me and climb in my lap for story time! Love it! <3

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