Early Literacy

Caring adults are the secret to making your baby smarter


  • Using words to describe what you and baby are seeing and feeling together is a great way to help them learn.
  • If you use screen time, make it only high quality like Sesame Street, and use it with your baby.
  • Whether you use a book, outside, or an iPad, YOU are what helps your baby love and learn.

You are the most important person in your baby’s life, and this applies to learning too. Talking to your child is one of the best ways to help them learn. Whether it’s with a book or face-to-face, you are helping them learn to talk. Walking outside gives a change of location and gives you more to talk to your baby about. Imitating noises or repeating words and giving more details are helpful to confirm that your child is doing something well. This helps how they feel about themselves and helps them learn. Being in physical contact is something your baby or toddler loves. Whether its cuddling, massage, or tumble play with an older child, the physical touch helps build a connection. Pretending not only encourages imagination but also helps children get ready for school. Using simple toys like dolls or play food is better than using an iPad or other electronic toy. Finally, screens should only be used when it’s for high-quality programming, and when you are using it together with your toddler. Putting your child alone in front of a screen to occupy them will not help them learn. You doing the activity and talking about it with them is what is going to help them learn.

To find more information, check out:

American Academy of Pediatrics. (2016). Healthy Digital Media Use Habits for Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers. Healthychildren.org. Retrieved from Healthy Digital Media Use Habits for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

American Academy of Pediatrics. (2015). The Secret To A Smarter Baby. Books Build Connections Toolkit. Retrieved from The Secret to a Smarter Baby

This and other exclusive tips from the Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics are shared via Bloomz, the app connecting parents and educators everywhere. Want to get them on your phone? Invite your child’s teacher, coach or care provider to sign up for a free Bloomz account.

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