There is overwhelming evidence showing that families who make literacy and language a priority in their households produce children who are high achievers academically, and who develop healthy social relationships outside of the home. (Please see this article and this one.) Making a commitment to reading to your baby regularly is one of the best things you can do for her development.

A recent explosion of research shows conclusively what babies are capable of before birth: they can hear, remember and learn language that they are exposed to in the womb. Besides supporting your child’s language development and future achievement, reading to your baby has more immediate rewards. Babies who are read a repetitive and rhythmic story before birth are actually soothed and calmed by the same story after birth. Please check out this beautiful video of a baby hearing a story that he heard in utero. The effects of the familiar rhythmic and repetitive story on this newborn are amazing!

So, if you are an expectant mother or father, be sure to carve out time from your day for some regular “reading womb” time—a quiet routine devoted to bonding with your child and introducing her to the wonderful world of language. You will soon be rewarded for your efforts and will know that you have given your child the best possible start.

Newborn Lucas calmed by his mother's voice and a familiar story