A new study suggests that parents should begin reading to their children at a very early age — possibly as young as 14 months.
Researchers studied English-speaking and Spanish-speaking children from low-income families and found that children who were read to at an early age had better language skills and cognitive development, WebMD reported.
The study, published in the journal Child Development, examined the effects of reading to children under age 3 in low-income families. Researchers studied children at 14, 24 and 36 months of age.
The study involved 2,500 families enrolled in the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Projects in 17 communities across the United States.
About half the mothers in the study said they read to their toddlers every day. Most reported that daily reading began at age 2 or 3.
Parents who reported reading to their children at about 12-14 months of age had children who appeared to possess more advanced language comprehension skills. WebMD reported.
In a smaller comparative study, researchers found similar cognitive benefits from reading in children from English-speaking and Spanish-speaking families.