Baby Tips and Ideas Toddler Life

The Importance Of Reading With Toddlers, Developing Language Skills

If you are reading this post then you must be curious about reading with your little one. I want to help you understand the significance of reading to your baby and share my thoughts and experience of reading with my son Jayden.

Long before my son was born I was attached to books. Maybe that’s why I chose to become a writer. Reading not only improves our language skills, it teaches us social skills, helps us cope with stressful situations, and grows our imaginations immensely. This is not only with children, but with adults as well. It is never too late to start reading, but the importance of reading with toddlers helps to set a beginning foundation and jump starts their language skills.

The Reading Expedition

When Jayden was born I already had a small library of children’s books for him. I started purchasing books early on in my and they didn’t always have to be new. I was able to get used books on Amazon for a fraction of the price. There were nights in my third trimester that I would read children’s books aloud. I knew that he was listening to the sound of my voice and it was comforting to me and him.

I wanted to make sure that reading was a crucial part of his life. Every night I would pick a book and read to him. There were even a few nights that I would read the same story over again. But each time he would sit content and listen to the words as I read them. He was interested and invested in this time we were spending together and although he was only a month old I knew that he was just as in love with these stories as I was.

Reading became a nightly routing for us but as he got older it got harder. Toddlers don’t like to sit still for longer than a minute so this made reading to him almost impossible. He wouldn’t run away or cry, instead, he would take the book from me and look at the pictures himself.

He wanted to do this by himself, so what could I do? I couldn’t very well take the book from him and make him cry so one thing his pediatrician suggested to me was this, I don’t have to read the story to him word for word. Just look at the pictures with him and make up a story as he turns the pages. So that’s what we do now.

Speech and Development

Since Jayden was about 16 months old he’s been saying small words here and there. The difference I noticed in him compared to other kids was, my sisters’ daughter needed speech therapy. My sister didn’t read to her. Not because she didn’t want to, but I think it was because there is not enough information out there about the importance of reading for babies and toddlers.

Jayden at 10 Months

Another case was my other sisters’ son, he also needed speech therapy and yet again, he wasn’t read to as a baby so his speech development was also slow. I find this very coincidental that both kids needed speech therapy and neither of them were read to as babies. But my Jayden was and he won’t need therapy.

I don’t know much about the medical aspect of it, nor the psychiatric part of it so I won’t pretend I do, I will simply tell you that reading to your baby is as important as washing your hands every time you use the bathroom.

Reading teaches them to speak, be imaginative, and be social. It helps to develop their memory, their curiosity, and it gives them an encouraging relationship with books so when school starts they are already off to a good start.

When you start reading to your baby at an early age it helps to introduce them to vocabulary. It helps them to speak earlier and also helps with their pronunciation of words. Reading is a win for young minds and it only takes 20 minutes a day to sit with your baby and read a children’s book with them.

Jayden at 12 Months

Enjoy Reading With Your Baby

One of the things I found enjoyable with reading to my toddler was changing my voice with the characters. Two of our favorite books with this are “The Pout Pout Fish” by Deborah Diesen, and “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae. Even I as an adult love these stories and I find myself reading them to Jayden more often than not. Another great book we enjoy together is “Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast” by Joshua Funk.

Reading with my baby isn’t only enjoyable for him but it is for me as well. I find this another moment in his life that I can bond with him. We get to laugh and look at pictures and have a good time all while helping him to develop his intellectual skills and teaching him to be imaginative.

I’m hoping this time spent with Jayden will help him to have some abilities that I now have as an adult because when I was a child reading was very important in my house. Now that I am grown I enjoy creative things like writing poetry and short stories, painting, and drawing.

Giving my son but a small dose of understanding that can make him artistic, clever, and compassionate is something that I as his mother should be able to do for him, as any parent should do for their child.

Reading Advice

No matter the age of your little one, it’s not too late. Develop a routine to read with them or to them and eventually this habit will grow into something more. There are so many benefits to reading with your baby or toddler, and there are advantages you wouldn’t want your child to do without. Reading is one of the most single important things you can do together.

Take 20 minutes, if your toddler is old enough let them choose the book and sit with them and read or let them read to you. It’s okay if they don’t know the words this encourages imagination. My son is only 19 months and he chooses the book he wants to look at with me. Sometimes even before I tell him to.

This is only the beginning but you are giving your child a lifetime of imagination, creativity, and independence. If you aren’t able to provide your child with the books you need for this journey, I can suggest this, make a time in your schedule for you and your baby and take him or her to your nearest library. I loved doing this as a child with my family.

Jayden at 19 Months

The library is free and full of all the children’s books you can think of. Believe me, it’s worth it.

Interested In Teaching Your Toddler How To Read?

Want to see how parents are teaching their toddlers how to read as your as 2 years old? Yes, this is possible and i’ve seen plenty of research that suggests that two years old is not to early for them to learn. If you are interested, click the link below to be redirected to my source.


Interested in the books I mentioned in my post?

Click the titles below for more information and purchase options. 

“The Pout Pout Fish” by Deborah Diesen

“Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae

“Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast” by Joshua Funk

Do you like to read to your baby or toddler? If you would like to share your experience or have questions please leave a comment below. I would love to hear your opinions on this and I’m sure other moms would too. Thanks for reading my latest post.

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  1. Wow!! thats incredible! Its amazing how you can develop your child at such a young age, that is exciting. Great article I will be sharing this with couples who just have they’re 1st baby. I see this is very important instead of handing them the phone and iPad. Invested time will pay off in the long run.

    1. Hi Seferino, It’s funny that you mentioned the phone and iPad because that’s exactly what my sisters did and their kids stay on those things, but Jayden instead goes the opposite way he loves books and music, he even tries to play the piano. It’s very important to develop these habits early on. The kids benefit so much from it. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Starting early is important. When my daughter was born my son was already 18 months and i was reading to him regularly.My daughter got the benefit of starting sooner as she listen pretty much from birth when i read to my son. I think thats why she started reading sooner than my son did before she went to school.

    1. Hi Sonia, That’s so great! It is very important and I think the kids are better off in the long run. I know if I have another one it will probably be the same way. Thanks for reading my post and thank you for commenting. This will benefit other moms.

  3. Great article!

    I completely agree with you on this one. I have a very similar comparison to yours. My sister never really took the time to read to her kids and her youngest had to get speech therapy, and all 5 of her kids had a really hard time with pronunciation. Granted she does have 5 kids and her and her husband are excellent parents I just think time unfortunately was not a luxury for them. That being said, I can see a big difference between her kids and mine.

    I too read to my kids every day. They are now 4 and 5 and like your baby early talkers and are now both reading beginner books! It is a wonderful thing when you see your baby reading on their own. I hope all parents are taking this advice and running with it. It can give your kids a huge advantage 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Amber,
      Thanks for the comment, I agree completely with you and i’m glad to not be the only one that has had this experience. This is really important for children. Education is number one and starting early is key, unfortunately like you said for some parents they just don’t have the time. I think that bedtime is an excellent time to read to children and parents should really adopt this habit to help their kids in the long run.

  4. Hey, Jen!
    Love your article. My godson loves to make up stories based on the pictures of books, and we always encouraged and played with him like that.
    That’s such an important phase of their life, I agree with you about reading helping in their speech development and I wish more people knew about this. Thanks for sharing with us!

    Have a wonderful week,

    1. Hi Barbara, Thanks for stopping by, I’m glad you guys do that with your godson because it is really important, and not a lot of parents know just how important reading is for a child.

  5. Lovely post which I really enjoyed. My kids are older now so they read to me as part of their homework. But as babies, we would read lots of stories together. Our favourite book was called “The Waterhole” by Graeme Base and even though my kids are older now, I have kept this book because of its sentimental values. Thanks again for a great post and your son is adorable 🙂

    1. Hi Helen, I will have to look up “The Waterhole” i’m always getting books for Jayden even if he can’t read it yet. One of my favorites was “Charlottes Web” I read that book so many times and now I have a copy to read to my son. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I find your article fascinating!
    Personally, I’m not a mother yet, but I plan to become one day.
    Honestly, I had no idea that reading to your baby can have such a big impact on his or her development.
    I mean, I’ve heard about, but speech therapist?
    This is serious and I’m sure all of your readers will appreciate such a useful and in-depth look on this subject.
    Thank you so much for sharing this post.
    Hope that you’ll continue to publish even more content on this topic, people need to know about it!

    1. Hi Boby, Thank you. It’s true that most moms or moms to be have no idea how much reading can impact their child’s life and the proof is there. The outcome is a drastic difference. I hope more moms see this post. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Janey Willis says:

    Hi, just wanted to say that this is a great article. I learned a lot from it. Hopefully I can implement when we have our first. Thank you!

    1. Hi Janey, You’re welcome and thanks for reading my post.

  8. Ana Modolo says:

    Great article!
    It’s crazy how the smallest little things can affect our babies’ lives and growth so much. Thank you for sharing this post, it was very interesting.

    1. Hi Ana, you’re welcome, I agree completely. It’s the small things and parents don’t know much about this. Thanks for reading.

  9. I have to agree with you! Reading is so important, and I know I started with my 3 children at a very early age. It always give them a love for reading, so that they will continue wanting to read as they get older. I now have my first grand child coming very soon and I have already purchased some books to read to him/her. Then hopefully read together as he/she gets a little older. It is very important, great information you have!

    1. I agree. Starting early is the key and once they develop a routine or habit it becomes second nature. Thanks for reading my post.

  10. This is true! I totally agree. Reading books to your little ones at early age is really helpful.
    Based on my experience, my son is now 13 by the way, my son developed his English vocabulary (he’s Korean) and reading as well. Compared to other Korean kids when it comes to English.

    So, reading books with your toddlers is something that every mom should do.

    1. Thanks Mina, I do also. They learn so much when their minds are growing.

  11. You have done so well reading with your baby and trying to build the habit from such a young age. I experienced the same you mentioned here. David wanted to read the books himself and now takes them from me and makes his own stories. I helped him asking questions and talking to him about the pictures in the book. He never gets bored of the same books, he actually prefers to repeat and he knows what’s going on and keeps adding more elements to the story. It’s amazing how the imagination of kids work! I don’t know why as adults we don’t use our imaginations that much. I’m going to check the books you recommended here. My son loves hairy maclary and Thomas the train 🙂

    1. Thanks Thais, I agree with you. Jayden likes the same books as well. I think because he can recognize them. I’ll have to look into Hairy Maclary. I haven’t introduced him to Thomas the train yet but will soon. I think helping our kids to grow their imaginations is a necessary milestone for them. Thats why I want to much to encourage Jayden to look at his books. It helps him so much and as he grows this will grow with him.

  12. I love that you are reading with your son at such a young age! My parents did the same for me, and as a result, I learned to read / speak well at a very young age. In fact, I honestly have no memory of not being able to read. This is great advice for any parent – I’ll be sharing it with my friends who are parents of little ones now 🙂

    1. Yes, I love to read with him. It’s such a great time we have and he even likes repeating words and trying to read himself. Soon he’ll be reading me the story. It’s a great foundation for a child.

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