Talking to your baby
Talking to your baby during the early formative years gives him a good start on language skills and interpersonal skills, both in childhood and later in life ,says a child pychologist.
But, then, how do you plant the seed for a great start on language development, asks Shreya, a new mother?
It’s simple. All you need do is talk, sing, and coo to your baby.
Talking to babies might sound meaningless , but you will notice over time, that your new born baby, right from birth can communicate through different ways like crying, cooing, smiling and body movements like kicking, cycling or moving his legs vigorously when he/she wants your attention.
Baby talk with him every time you are attending to him. Gently lift him from the crib and tell him, ” You are awake sweet heart? You wet your diaper…oh yes, you did, pointing to the diaper..now let me change and make you all comfy.”
By three months, your baby will start gurgling and babbling . Right from the start, engage in a two way conversation . Your willingness to listen and respond to the baby will strengthen the bond between the two of you. Imitate his sounds. When he coos, coo back . You can respond to your baby’s sounds with a smile or by using real words. Touch is also an important and powerful means of communication. When he wants to be picked up, extend your arms and say,” Mama carry you..Mama carry little (use his/her name) .”
In the second half of the first year, specifically mention the names for each food while feeding. “Mmmm…Bananas. Yummy Yummy bananas for my little one(mention his/her name).
Bathing is a good time to teach parts of the body. Research shows that children learn language faster if you point to an object and simultaneously saying the word. Point out to his arms or legs, and say, “lets now pour water on your hands and then your legs..lets clean them..” You can play a game by asking your baby to identify his nose, eyes , teeth or hair..clap or pat him each time he identifies.
Pediatricians recommend reading aloud to your toddler during play time or at bedtime. According to them, babies who are exposed to reading aloud during the first one year of their lives are better prepared for schooling than babies who are not. Reading to your child will help build a rich vocabulary. You can point out to a doggie or a kitten in a board book, and bark and purr along with your toddler.
Interact a lot with your toddler during the formative years and help develop a life long love of learning.
It is not rocket science to help children reach their intellectual potential. – just a patient ,caring, and involved parent.