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 If you’ve pulled out a board book and read to your young baby, you may question, how much is he or she really getting out of this? Babies may not be able to point to pictures yet, name objects in it, or talk to you about what they see. But believe it or not, early storybook reading can be one of the best things you can do for your child’s development! 

Superior Social Skills

Reading with your baby helps encourage his or her joint attention skills (Farrant & Zubrick, 2013). Even pointing to pictures in the simplest board book can boost your baby’s ability to attend to a shared object/activity with you (the book). It’s an important skill for children to shift their point of reference between an object and another person, and reading aloud helps them learn just that! 

    Tip: Hold your board book up by your eyes while sitting face-to-face with your         baby to encourage him or her to look back and forth between you and the book      as your read the words. If your baby is seated on your lap, turn throughout the      story so they can see your face. Exaggerate smiles and other facial expressions      to grab their attention. This encourages early eye contact skills, which is so             important for your child’s social development! 

Promotes Parental Bonding

Making bottles, blocks scattered across the floor, changing diapers. The days with babies can get crazy. And if you have other children at home, your baby may not get as much one-on-one time throughout the day. 

Cuddling up with a couple board books before your baby goes to bed can be a sweet, relaxing part of your little one’s bedtime routine. Reading together like this encourages parent-child bonding as your baby gets your undivided attention for this moment. 

Develops Early Literacy Skills

Even young babies can start developing literacy skills! When you read with your baby, he or she learns book orientation (how to position and hold a book), and is exposed to print (Edwards, 2014). That can help your child’s literacy abilities when he or she enters Pre-K later on. 

Language Boosting Magic

Reading is a major language booster for your baby! Your child is already being exposed to new vocabulary words when you point to the pictures as you name them. He or she hears the way words are ordered to form sentences, and notices the changes in your pitch as you read. You may even hear him or her imitate this through jargon and babbling! When you hold your book close to your mouth, your baby will likely watch you form different sounds and words. Make books fun for little ears to listen to by adding fun animal sounds and environmental sounds (like a “vroom” or “beep beep” for a car picture)! 

Get Started!
The Story Box makes it easy (and gives you more time for reading to your baby!) by selecting educational board books every month that are delivered to your front door with our Board Book Package. And, your package comes with a Parent Guide written by a certified Speech-Language Pathologist for more tips on how to boost your child’s skills through reading!

Amy Yacoub, MS, CCC-SLP | Speech Pathologist

Proud Member of The Story Box Family


Farrant, B. M., & Zubrick, S. R. (2013). Parent–child book reading across early childhood and child vocabulary in the early school years: Findings from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. First Language33(3), 280–293.
Edwards, C.M. (2014). Maternal literacy practices and toddlers’ emergent literacy skills. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 145379.