Skip to main navigation Skip to content
Please enter a search term

When to start reading to children

When to start reading to children

When should you start reading to your child and for how long? My baby was born 6 weeks ago and I’ve started reading to him but my family thinks it’s crazy.

If it feels right to you, then keep doing it. There will only be benefits from reading to a child as young as yours. Reading to infants not only sets the scene for this important life skill further down the track, but allows you to enjoy some one on one time & close contact. By including reading at a certain time each day, such as just before bed time, this can supprt a relaxing routine that your infant will quickly learn is 'all about them'.

Kylie Romero

Kylie Romero

Practice Improvement Area Lead, Goodstart Early Learning

See more

There is extensive research highlighting the importance of reading to children as early as possible, so what you are doing is fantastic. Sharing books with your baby is time to connect and engage which enhances the nurturing bond between you and your baby. 

It is also a great way to teach language by modelling different words, what they mean and how to use them.  This learning is very necessary before his first verbal words emerge around 12 months of age. 

Language development is an incredibly important skill which underpins literacy development all the way through early childhood, well before a child enters primary school.

Research shows that the ages 0 - 5 years is the busiest time for a child's brain growth and interactive, engaging experiences between a parent and their child - such as book sharing - are wonderful ways to support and maximise your baby's development during this period.

Tiffany Noble

Tiffany Noble

Senior Speech Pathologist, Goodstart Early Learning

See more

Other questions about this topic

Learning to follow directions

I have a 3.5-year-old who won’t listen to anything. We both just end up getting upset. I'm concerned that she will face problems in preschool if she won’t start following directions.

Developing a stutter

My little girl is developing a stutter. She is three years old and has started hesitating between words and repeating sounds. I’ve seen the doctor and we are working on techniques to help her. Should I be worried about how this might psychologically affect her?

Dealing with swear words

My 2.5 year old has recently started swearing. The blame lies with me BUT I have since reduced how much I swear a great deal. What’s the easiest way to deal with this and let him know it isn’t okay?

When to start teaching maths

I don’t want to sound like some pushy mum, but at what age should I be starting maths activities with my child?

Encouraging 4-yr-old to draw and write

My just turned 4 yr old boy doesn’t like to draw or write. He tells me he "doesn't know how" and won't even attempt it. He has easy access to thick crayons/felt pens and paper at home, but when we sit down to do drawing or colouring, he would prefer to make things with craft supplies (gluing, cutting, etc) or do painting. Our GP said he should be drawing figures with 3 distinct parts and writing his own name by now. Any tips on how to encourage him to take up or even attempt some drawing/writing