Babies start learning to communicate from the moment they’re born.
Their instinct is to communicate in order to have their needs met, so encouraging their communication skills is a great way both to bond with your newborn baby, and also to help her develop. By doing this she will begin to learn how to talk, even before she is able to.
Even though she can’t talk back to you, your baby will learn by hearing you talk. Nappy changes and baths are ideal times to have a natter with your baby. If you’re not sure what to talk about, just tell her what you’re doing or talk about how your day has been. Vary the tone of your voice and keep saying your baby’s name to help focus her attention on you.
When you talk to your baby, ask her questions and answer them. For example say, would you like to wear this blue dress or this red one? Yes, I think the red one is pretty too. You may feel silly at first but you’re really helping your baby to develop her conversational skills and soon enough she will begin to respond when you talk to her. Hearing you asking and answering questions helps her to understand how conversations work.
Songs And Rhymes
Singing songs and nursery rhymes keep your baby’s attention due to the tunes, rhythms and hand gestures. Your baby will learn that talking and singing are fun and be keen to join in with you when she’s able to.
By copying your baby’s coos and other sounds you are encouraging your baby to keep communicating. She’ll instinctively copy you and this is how she’ll learn to speak. Always smile and praise your baby whenever she makes efforts to communicate with you and this will help her confidence to grow.
Baby sign language is proven to help little ones communicate even when they are pre verbal. Signs can help your baby tell you she wants more milk, she is tired or she needs her nappy changed. Although classes are generally recommended from around five months, there is no reason why you can’t begin to use some simple signs, such as milk, in conjunction with a feeding to demonstrate its meaning, right away. There are classes all over the country by different providers so have a word with your local Children’s Centre to find out what classes are on in your area.
Picture books are brilliant tools to help with communication. Just looking at the pictures in a book and telling your baby about them can help her to learn words and encourage her developing conversational abilities.
Babies who can communicate and make themselves understood are often confident, happy individuals. Helping your baby develop these skills is a wonderful way to enhance your relationship with one another so try to implement some of the above ideas into your day to day interactions with your baby from day one.