Doing so can enhance child development and prepare young minds for early language and reading ability.
That's according to a new policy from the American Academy of Pediatrics issued Tuesday.
The academy wants pediatricians to spread the message to parents of young children and to provide books to needy families.
To help promote reading, the doctors' group is teaming up with the Clinton Foundation's Too Small to Fail program, children's book publisher Scholastic Inc., and a group called Reach out and Read. That non-profit group works with doctors and hospitals to distribute books and encourage early reading.