Baby Marli Spencer is only a few days old but she is already learning to develop a love of reading.
She was the first newborn this year to get a book from the Australian Literacy Educators Association to celebrate International Literacy Day yesterday.
Association WA president Mary Harvey said members would deliver quality picture books and "read to me" baby T-shirts to 15 city hospitals and nine in the country this week.
She said early intervention was critical for a child's success in achieving literacy skills.
"We chat to the mums and tell them how important it is to read to their baby from day one," she said. "Because even though they might think they're asleep, they're hearing and picking up the patterns of the language."
The program recognised the vital role of parental teaching in a child's formative years.
"They are the first teachers who need to share the joy of books, spoken language, writing, singing and creative playing," she said.
First-time mother Tracy Spencer said she had always planned to read regularly to her baby.She understood the importance of early reading because she was an occupational therapist who worked closely with speech therapists.