Proven Ways of Listening, Talking, and Reading with Babies


Hear mom’s voice through listening, talking, reading

Take time to develop listening by talking and reading to your baby, both before they are born…and especially after!  Listening to your voice before your baby is born comforts your baby!  Even then baby is developing auditory language that is important in early literacy.  Whenever you are talking or reading aloud, make sure your voice is gentle and soft…not loud and screeching!

listening talking reading

Talk to your unborn baby.


So what kind of talking is best for your newborn?  Do not be afraid to imitate their gurgling and cooing as this reinforces a communication bond between you.  As you learn the different sounds your baby makes you can respond with words to reinforce what they are saying.  Can you learn to understand what they are saying…certainly!  But do not be afraid to carry on conversations with them even when they do not answer back.  Your voice and language is important to their early literacy development!


Some parents have felt that reading books before a baby is born will help them with their literacy later in life. Actually, it is the sound and language of their voice that they are learning.  So moms…before they are born, read whatever is enjoyable to you! Then when your baby is around two months old, they can usually recognize their mother’s voice when they enter the room. Consequently you can switch over to reading books they learn to love.

At that time your baby will begin to respond to this reading with eye contact, gurgling and coos. Include simple stories that babies enjoy…simple books with singsong lyrics, rhyme and colorful pictures. 

Some good choices for oral reading of books include

  • Colorful larger images
  • Rhyming words
  • Heavy-duty covers (boards, cloth, chew-resistant and baby-proof)
  • Interactive books (with pop-ups or mirrors)
  • ABC and counting books
  • Bedtime books
  • Favorite characters from videos
  • Books you loved and new ones too


It’s Your Turn:


listening, talking, reading

Fun to listen to books!

  • Talk to unborn baby
  • Talk to newborn
  • Imitate baby’s gurgling and cooing
  • Develop literacy through your voice


  • Read to unborn baby
  • Read to newborn
  • Include simple stories for baby
  • Develop language of literacy



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