|

The Benefits of Talking to Your Baby

Baby Talk?

You can help your baby master the nuances of a difficult language and learn to speak without resorting to complicated phonics programs or rote repetitions of the names of objects. You only need to do two things: Talk to your baby and listen to her.

Your baby will learn language more quickly from you, her primary caretaker(s), than from anyone else. Because your baby knows you best, she's learned to recognize the way you speak: your tones, your inflections, your facial expressions. So talk around your baby and talk to your baby. Speak naturally and clearly (though you may want to slow down your speech slightly to make the words more distinctive).

Devote at least some time to talking to your baby one-on-one. Your baby will learn much more from direct conversation than she will by trying to follow a conversation that doesn't include her. Oh, she'll still listen to a two-way exchange and might pick up some valuable sounds and intonations, but any discussion that involves three or more people will probably confuse your baby. It's just too hard for a new listener to try to sort out sounds coming from all corners of a room.

When you talk to your baby, talk about the present as much as possible. Your baby's memory is not yet her strong suit. So talk about what's happening right here and now ("Wow! An airplane. Look up in the sky, Megan. It's an airplane.") Your baby can then form meaningful connections between what she's seeing or hearing or touching or tasting or smelling and what you're saying. Talking about what happened earlier will not necessarily evoke associations for your baby, unless of course you helped her make those associations by also talking about them when they were happening.



More on: Babies

|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Bringing Up Baby © 1997 by Kevin Osborn. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Fun Driveway and Sidewalk Games for Kids
Looking for classic outdoor games kids can play in the driveway or on the sidewalk, just like the good ol' days? From hopscotch to bubble-blowing contests, there's something for all ages!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Best Sun Safety Practices for Babies
Follow these sun safety practices for babies to ensure your little one stays safe on the beach and on sunny days all year long.