During my pregnancy I was often suggested to talk to my baby in the womb. I was not very comfortable placing my hand on the womb and speaking to my baby. In the third trimester when the baby movements became prominent, the baby talk activity began to make more sense to me.
After the birth of my son, I found myself talking to him right from day one. No, not as an activity or an exercise but in the most natural manner, I would just talk to him. There was absolutely no discomfort, no apprehension, no doubt whether he understands or not. From his birth till to-day when he is 14 months of age, I speak the most to him through out the day. It’s elating to watch my husband do the same. I have seen eyes popping out when I publicly tell my son I am going to change his diaper, or if I excitedly show a double-decker bus to him on the street. A friend once asked why? Why do you talk to your baby? Here’s why you must talk to your baby as often as possible. Here is my list of reasons why I talk to my baby. (I didn’t really bother about reasons unless asked why)
Boosts brain power – the mind of the baby starts developing from the womb itself. After birth, you as a parent are now at the task of building a mind that can think and conceptualize. Your words and actions prepare that little mind for the future. When you speak to your baby, you stimulate the brain of the baby and provide an opportunity for development of mind and senses.
Provides information – when you speak to your baby about anything and everything under the sun, you are unknowingly providing so much information to your child. Each word is new to the baby and provides some kind of information.
Language and speech development – Studies have revealed that toddlers and pre-schoolers with parents who read bed time stories and interact with them, are better at language processing and vocabulary than their contemporaries. I have noticed this in my own class, with my own students. There is an inclination towards reading and hearing in such children.
Builds a bond between parent and child – needless to say, interactions build a bond. My baby and I met like strangers. But as we exchanged thoughts, expressions, ideas and our own kind of words, the bond has strengthened with time.
Child feels respected – you always speak to another loved one in your company, why not the baby?
Develops trust – when you speak to your baby and she responds in the most serene non verbal manner, a relationship of trust is built between the parent and child.
Now, that you have read my reasons why every parent must speak to their child, here are some tips how you can do the same:
* It’s not just you communicating with the baby. She is trying to do the same. Smile and pay attention to her attempts to communicate.
* Respond to the smiles, cooing, giggling, laughing and babbling of your baby.
* Imitate your baby’s expressions and other communicative gestures.
* Make a back and forth conversation with your baby. This will help her learn the give and take in a conversation.
* Don’t really know what to say to the baby? There is no rule book or a guideline. For beginning try these-
1) Say and Do – the simplest way of beginning to talk is to say what you are doing or are going to do. ‘I am changing your soiled diaper’, ‘we will be going out for a walk in a while’, ‘let’s head for a refreshing bath’, ‘I am cleaning your chubby cheeks, strong hands, lovely hair and so on..’
2) description– you could describe the surroundings to your child. What is there around and how beautiful it is! You could also describe the digestive system while you feed, the environment, the surroundings just about anything.
3) positive talk – One of the best part of the conversations that I have with my baby is that the are positive. I often visualize and verbalize the virtues he possess. ‘You are so calm, a human with such a kind heart.’ ‘I am so grateful to God to have given you to me’,
PS – Your baby absolutely loves your unique animated expressions and high-pitched baby talk voice, so don’t ever be embarrassed by it. Continue to BABY Talk.
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Happy baby talking:)