Reading & brain development in babies

Why reading needs to be inculcated early

Reading in toddler
Reading in toddler

In the age when kindle and iPads have replaced standard books, it is becoming difficult to explain your toddlers why reading is important. Being an avid reader myself I introduced books to my then 4 month old baby, everyone was shocked, but as I said to make a habit lets start young.

However, as soon as he grew older he would not pick books. Someone then told me that he needs to see you (parents) reading. Because what they see is what they ape, which is one reason most kids pick mobiles. So I cut down screen time post dinner (for us and the baby) and tried picking up books. A few weeks later, my now 18 month old goes ‘bow bow’ when he wants his books. And he clearly has favourites too. He prefers dogs and Santa Claus over regular stories.

Beepbop books
Beepbop books

Much to my delight he goes to every family member after I tell him its sleeping time with his book to be read. Kindle move over, you shall never compete with a book! So we got Jiggy George, Founder and CEO, Dream Theatre to tell us what reading habits for toddlers are a must:

Explain how to inculcate good reading habits

Reading is a habit that can be developed right from a young age just like a sport. The more you read the more you will wish to read, until it becomes a habit that never leaves you and one you cannot live without.

Hence just like swimming or cycling which you begin to learn at a young age and never forget as you grow older , if you expose a child to books and reading from as early as possible , it is a gift for a lifetime.


Good reading habits would include reading to your child everyday , it may be a read aloud session or reading along with your child. Carry a book wherever you go. In a restaurant, at the airport, if its mostly adult company around, a young child can get engrossed in a book and participate appropriately only when required in the social set up.

Reading must be extended to even post reading 5 minute sessions of imagination, word play or just doodling your idea of what you imagine in the book. Stories take you to places you have never traveled before

Reading habit being sidelined by e-books

There  is no turning away from technology. There is no way of avoiding the convenience  of technology. So while e-books and online reading makes it so accessible to have books anytime anywhere , there is always a charm to holding a book and turning pages physically, book marking or marking your favorite pages and lines…re-reading your favorite parts and re-visiting the illustrations in a book and so much more.

So we believe that paper books will never replace e-books, but will definitely have to make room for them.


One has to allow children to learn how to adapt to both formats. It is the future it is the medium of their future! And so instead of taking a pile of books along everywhere, for the times when you are not at home,  it is best to download favourite stories and have your child read out of a screen while on the go or while in awaiting lobby,  be it at the doctor’ s or at airport  or while waiting in a line. And think of it it’s better to read a book on a screen rather than playing a mindless game on it!!

How does bed-time reading help a child’s development and progression

Bed-time reading is the best way for a child to unwind, to slow down after an energetic day and of course for a parent to bond with the child. The child sleeps with thoughts of fantasy which leads to happy dreams filled with imagination. They say in terms of memory and learning your sub conscience before you get to bed absorbs the most in those moments before you shut your eyes for the night. Reading with your child at bedtime makes for the best childhood memories as well.So if time is finite in a busy day, every parent must try and get to their child at least by bedtime to read those stories and take a ride into a wonderful world of fantasy.

By Jiggy George, Founder and CEO, Dream Theatre.