mom reading to babyWhen you take your baby to the pediatrician, what do you expect them to prescribe? Antibiotics? Maybe some over-the-counter infant medicines? Surprise! The American Academy of Pediatrics is advising its doctors to make a newprescription to every parent of a newborn: books.

And here you thought they just ate, pooped and slept all day! Nope!

The AAP now says the very early days of a baby's life are crucial for their education later on.Babies who are read to from the get-go have a jump on language skills. In other words, you're making your baby smarter, even if it seems like it's not helping.

Why the big push now? Turns out children in lower income families tend to be read to less than children in higher income families. By age 4, the pediatricians' group estimates, kids in lower income homes have heard 30 million fewer words than their peers. Thirty MILLION!

That's a huge gap!

And it makes you want to grab a book right now and get reading, doesn't it? You have a lot of words to catch up on!

It may seem counter-intuitive to read to someone who just lies there and drools, but we know our babies can hear us, so why not?

The truth is, the baby stage, for all the hardship of adjusting to parenthood and figuring out what it is that baby is crying about, is the easiest time to start setting up routines -- among them the habit of reading to your child. Infants may not know what's going on when you sit down with Goodnight Moon, but as they grow, they will be so used to it, that it will almost be a comfort to them.

And hey, if you're lucky, maybe a kid who is being read to from day one will be less likely to rip the pages. Maybe ...

When did you start reading to your baby? What was the first book?

 

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