Talking to Your Baby

Do you feel silly talking to your baby when you won’t get response back? Well don’t, because researchers
have shown that talking to your baby regularly is an important way of developing her communication skills.
Studies show that the bulk of brain development (which includes language acquisition!) occurs before three years
of age. When infants and toddlers are young, they do not yet speak, making it easy to forget to talk to them. However, the skills of labeling and describing are crucial during this phase! You tell them the word or the description of everything that they see, so that they build word understanding and vocabulary. This would look like: “Step up! Step down!” as she climb stairs in the house, “Book!” as she point at her story book, or “Cup!” as she stretches her hand for water.

Of course, it’s not only your baby’s brain that we care about! Lots of talk from loving adults also builds healthy relationships and social skills. It’s the relationship that matters, your baby can’t learn language, or much else, from a television set. You are your baby’s first and best teacher in matters of building trust, dealing with
emotional and physical needs, and interacting with others in positive ways. All of these skills will be important for your child’s later success in school and beyond.

Talking and listening to her does lots of important things. It improves your bond with her, and encourages her
to listen to you. It helps her to form relationships and to build self-esteem. Researchers at the University of Limerick say it could even help more than reading a book at bedtime.

A recent study from the Economic and Social Research Institute found that a parent’s absent-minded conversations with their baby is four times more effective at improving their child’s communication skills than bedtime reading. Reading remains an important part of supporting your baby’s development but the study showed that talking to her is three times better at improving her problem-solving abilities. So keep on chatting up your youngster it has a load lot of benefits.

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