30 May Baby Talk
Your baby begins communicating from the day they are born, by you talking to them, listening to them and responding to them you are helping them develop and learn. Their brains are developing quickly and your interaction and engagement with them will support them to develop those early speech and language skill which play an essential role in future academic, learning and social development.
The Still Face Experiment is an excellent example of the importance of early interaction with babies and is a must watch.
There are lots of fun and easy ways that you can encourage your baby’s communication skills during the first few months and years of their lives. Here are just a few tips to get you started, many of which you will already be doing:
- Talk to your baby throughout the day; when you’re bathing them, feeding them, changing their nappy etc. Talking through these narratives together will allow your baby to begin to associate these sounds with everyday object and activities – make sure to keep your language clear and simple
- Give your baby time to respond as you would in any conversation (cooing, gurgling, leg kicking etc. are all ways of them responding to you); this will teach them basic conversational turn-taking skills Imitate your baby’s vocalisations (e.g. baa-baa, goo-goo), wait for them to make another sound then repeat that back
- Make your voice interesting using lots of intonation to keep your baby’s attention. Gentle, sing song tones are found to be the most engaging for young babies
- Smile lots and lots at your baby, particularly in response to them trying to communicate with you
- Give your baby lots of eye contact and attention when they coo or babble at you
- Pull different facial expressions at your baby (e.g. sticking your tongue out) and see if they copy you, and copy facial expressions they do back at them – this is great fun!
- Sing nursery rhymes and songs with your baby, remembering to use lots of actions
- Make time to engage with your baby (at least 5 times daily), at these points stop doing other tasks and just enjoy interacting with each other
Remember that all children develop at different rates so don’t panic if your child is not doing something that another child is doing, however if you have any specific concerns about your child’s speech, language or communication development please feel free to give us a ring on: 07510 067 442.