27 Feb The power of talking to your baby
Talking to your baby may seem like a dumb idea at first, probably because they have no idea what you are saying. However, it has been proven to have tremendous benefits in the growth and development of children. For instance, it helps babies build a richer vocabulary as they grow, leads to improved language development, and fosters essential life skills in them, such as curiosity, critical thinking, and intelligence.
On the other hand, children whose parents did not talk to them when they were younger miss out on all these benefits and at the same time end up having poorly developed social skills, meaning it will become even harder for them to make friends as they grow.
This is why it is so important that you talk to your baby as often as you can.
How to talk to your baby
So, as a parent, how can you talk to your baby?
Well, before we get into that, let’s dial things back a bit. Did you talk to your baby during pregnancy?
Most moms-to-be will play some soothing music to their bump, or read to them, or sing to them, or just talk to them like they would a normal person. All these are great starting points. The next step is to keep at it after the baby has been born.
Over the first few months after birth, when your baby coos, gurgles, and cries, coo, sing, and babble back. Watch them try to copy the sounds you make.
Whenever you can, just talk to them about your day and their day and random things just as you would a regular person. They may not understand you, but the sound of your voice soothes them. Plus, they also begin to learn a few language basics, such as the fact that moving your mouth makes words.
To take things even further, get a collection of books and read to your little one. Make sure they are big, colorful, and with lots of pictures to make your sessions as interactive as possible. As you read, get animated and make silly noises, gestures, and faces. Babies love that.
Important things to remember when talking to your baby
Avoid baby talk
Try to avoid baby talk as much as you can. It has been shown to slow down their speech development because they do not get to see actual language in action as much as they should.
As you talk to your baby, do it as you would an adult. Talk about your day and mundane everyday things. The sound of your voice and how you form your words is what is important here.
As you talk to your baby, make lots of eye contact with them.
Eye contact creates a connection between you two, and they will get to learn that it is the eyes that determine who is being addressed in a conversation.
When you touch or hold or carry your baby, you let them know that they are safe and protected. It creates a feeling of mutual trust between the two of you.
And the best part is that it is so simple to take advantage of this. All you have to do is lightly touch your baby’s arm as you talk to them, just as you would an adult.
Respond with positive attention when your baby tries to express themselves. Be warm, smile and express interest in whatever they have to say. This helps your child feel secure and valued.
Eventually, your child’s self-image builds up over time with this positive attention. This confidence will carry them through in life.
Modern age parenting comes with a lot of challenges. However, it has lots of wins, too. If you play your cards just right, you could become the parent to a great human being that positively impacts society because of how you raised them.
A great starting point here is to talk to your kids from birth. Doing this lets you mold who they are and how they act. Plus, when you give them the right kind of attention, they grow to become self-confident human beings who are well-equipped to face everything that life throws at them.