And listening to you helps your baby become familiar with the flow and basic rules of language. In fact, experts say that kids who are read to regularly have an easier time learning to read later on.
Try to read together for a few minutes every day so your baby comes to expect and look forward to storytime as she grows. Books with big illustrations are easy on little eyes, and touch-and-feel ones are fun, too: Just run her hands over the textures if she can't do it by herself. (Don't be discouraged if she's more interested in chewing on the pages than touching them, though: Part of the way babies learn about objects is by putting them in their mouths.)
"The most important thing is to communicate that reading is a satisfying and rewarding experience," says Martin. "Learning to read won't be easy, but you can start teaching your baby that it's worth it."