Parents can foster a love of reading starting in infancy.

Even if your child was too young to start school this year, it’s a good idea to be thinking about reading milestones.

Parents can introduce literacy skills as soon as infancy, according to HealthyChildren.org, a division of the American Academy of Pediatrics that offers tips for parents. Parents who start reading to children shortly after birth will observe a growing interest in words and books, according to “Developmental Milestones of Early Literacy.” 

Reading to children from a young age builds cognitive skills, teaches vocabulary and will help them with problem solving as they get older. As they move toward preschool age, they will learn basic literacy skills, such as that books are read from front to back, and more complex things like letter recognition, according to KidsHealth, another good parenting resource, this one from Nemours, a nonprofit children’s health system.

Taking little ones to your local library for storytime is a great way to introduce them to words, books and reading. The weekly events usually involve introducing children to books, rhymes, vocabulary and other important skills that lay a foundation for learning to read, which is critical for school success.

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