Articles and Topics
Is it a waste of time to read to my 3-month-old?
Jamie Manchester
Your fiancé is probably right in saying that your son doesn’t understand what you are saying to him, but that’s about the only thing he’s right about in his objection to your reading to your baby. If you’re reading to your 3-month-old, you have to be holding him close to your body, using a loving tone of voice, and holding pictures in front of him. So, though your baby may not get the story, he’s getting the picture! That is never a waste of time.

As for whether you’re wasting money, make sure you save all the books you are buying for reading to him later when he will understand the words. And use your public library. It will have many charming books for infants and young children. And, in these early days, “read” catalogs to him. Point to pictures and say single words—“shoes,” “feet,” “Mommy,” “Daddy,” “head,” “eyes,” etc. As he gets a little older, point to his shoes, feet, head, eyes, etc. and say “Here are your shoes,” and, still later, “Show me your shoes.”

So I hope you’ll keep reading to your son. If you do, before long he’ll be reading to you—and to his dad.
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education