The best books for your baby's brain

27 Feb 2018

Recent research undertaken by the University of Florida 'Brain, Cognition and Development Lab' has found that both the quality and quantity of book reading in infancy predicted later childhood vocabulary, reading skills and name writing ability. The more books read, and time spent reading, the greater the benefits.

While most parents and care-givers are aware of the benefits of reading to their little ones, this new evidence suggests that what’s on the pages may be just as important as the shared reading experience itself. So which books might contribute to 'higher-quality interactions' and increased learning? 

Results published in 'The Conversation', see the full article here, show that after researching different types of books with different groups of babies, only the babies who received books with individually labelled characters showed enhanced attention compared to their earlier visit. Also the brain activity of babies who learned individual labels showed that they could distinguish between different characters. These effects weren't seen for infants in the comparison group or for infants who received books with generic labels.

So how do we enhance the benefits of reading to our babies? Finding books that name characters and objects may lead to higher-quality reading experiences, and hopefully result in the learning and brain development benefits found in this study. Of course remember that all babies are unique, so try and find books that interest your little one and share the fun of reading together.