Talking and singing with your baby builds more than language, it also nurtures their overall brain development. Before they can speak words, babies will be connecting the words you use with the actions that accompany them. Regular talking and singing to your baby encourages language development as babies love to mimic you.
How to do it
Begin by calling your baby by their name and letting them know what you are about to do e.g., "Hello baby, Mummy/Daddy's here. You've woken up. Mummy/Daddy is going to pick you up now. Oh, do you like that cuddle? Mummy/Daddy is going to lay your down to change your nappy now. Are you ready? Lifting your legs now. You like your nappy off, don't you?' Try singing simple action songs at bath-time or nappy-change time. In time, baby will come to recognise the familiar melodies and actions.
Try talking to your baby about what you are looking at together - point to pictures in baby books or magazines and name the pictures your see. Use a sing-song voice for variety. Your baby will love the sound of your voice and your focused attention.
Try poking your tongue out at your baby in a slow and deliberate way. Pause, wait and watch what your baby does. Keep repeating until your baby responds.
What learning is occurring?
- Communication and interaction
- Associating words with pictures, anticipating habits and routines
- Establishing the feeling of security through the establishment of familiar routines and interactions
- The best time to expect baby to engage is when they are calm and awake
- Listen and respond when baby starts to coo or babble to you. This helps baby to feel that their contribution to the world is valued and important
- Try repeating the same phrases as an accompaniment to particular actions. Over time you might notice that your baby starts to lift their legs as you tell them it's time for a nappy change