From the moment a child is born, they are learning the skills necessary to one day, communicate, read and write. As parents and childcare professionals it’s our job to provide the children in our care with as many opportunities to learn as possible. Talking to an infant is a good place to start. Babies are able to communicate from the day they are born. Research shows they can even recognise their mom’s voice from inside the womb. At first it may seem strange talking to someone who cannot talk back but they will love hearing your voice and will learn how to talk by listening to you.
Talking to even the tiniest new-born, helps them learn the rhythm and patterns of speech. Speaking in a lively voice and maintaining eye contact will help your little one learn even faster. Surprisingly research shows that babies prefer the high-pitched and sing-song voice most adults use to talk to them in, over normal adult speech.
Ideas for talking to babies:
- Throughout the day, describe the everyday routines as you go through them. Dressing, feeding, changing and bathing are all great opportunities.Describe what you are doing and what you are going to do next. For example, ‘ Its bath time now, lets take off your t-shirt’.
- Linking words to actions helps baby learn what the words mean. Talk about anything you can see, touch and hear.
- Help baby to learn names by saying them often. ‘Here comes daddy’, or ‘Granny is here to visit’, etc. Point out sounds, for example ‘There’s the doorbell ringing, let’s go and see who is here to visit’.
- When you give an infant something, describe the object, for example ‘Here is your bottle’, ‘here is your teddy’.
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