In a new policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends story time routines benefit even the youngest children.
In other words, pediatricians in the United States are urging parents to read aloud to children from birth, and do it every day.
The thinking is it helps babies build vocabulary and communication skills critical to later success in school.
Dr. John E. Firestone, Pediatrician with Children's Hospital says many pediatricians have been recommending this to parents for some time now.
"I think we've always said it's never to early to engage your children in conversations, read them books, sing songs to them," said Dr. Firestone. "They won't understand everything in the same way as you do from the beginning but they do know that you're spending time with them."
Dr. Firestone makes the analogy of sharing football with your father.
"It's hard to grow up in Louisiana and not be a football fan, but sharing that football with your dad makes it more intense," Dr. Firestone said.
He believes the simplest way you can summarize parenting is to be the person you want them to be and that's where reading comes in.
The doctor said children look at you to gather what's important to do.
Dr. Danette Glassy, a pediatrician near Seattle, Washington, who co-chairs the AAP's Council on Early Childhood said, "You're not teaching a two month old how to read, your sitting down with them makes your baby smart and wise."
The American Academy of Pediatrics, in previous recommendations has discouraged parents from exposing children under the age of 2 year to TV and other forms of screen media entertainment, which can be detrimental to language development.