With its first policy statement addressing early-childhood literacy, the American Academy of Pediatrics now endorses reading to children beginning in infancy and recommends that pediatric care providers help parents acquire the tools to establish a strong literacy environment at home.

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Language and speech development is an early milestone that is vital for all infants to reach in order to promote healthy progression into childhood and to encourage school readiness. It is critical for a child to learn how to use her words to communicate feelings, emotions, and desires instead of relying on the instinct to cry and whine for attention and affection.

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Nurturing independence in young children is a critical component of parenting. It promotes later self-sufficiency and self-reliance, and the process should begin during the earliest years of life.

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