Friday, March 7, 2014

Don't Forget to Talk to your Baby


As parents, we are our child's first teacher.  That teaching begins at birth.  Baby and toddler brains are like sponges that soak up all the language we direct at them.   The earlier you start explaining the world to your baby, the better.  Talking, singing and  reading to your baby is essential, even before they can respond . 

Research has shown that how much and how well you talk with your babies and toddlers directly effect how well they learn to speak.  Parents need to have conversations with their little ones.  Don't just say, "Doggie", but elaborate and say, "Look at that Doggie run across the grass! "  More complex sentences are essential for your babies and toddlers to process new words and better their language now as well as in the future.   

In addition, if you are more fluent in another language, babies and toddlers benefit from you speaking to them in that language. 

  • Get into a routine.  Read a book prior to nap and/or bedtime.  Reading a story to your child is a great way to bond as you expose him/her to new speech and language patterns. 
  • Sing songs to your baby and toddler.  Make learning new words fun.  They will want to sing along! 
  • Have conversations with your babies and toddlers.  They might not understand everything you say, but they will still benefit from that language directed at them. 
  • Don't rely on DVD's to provide essential language.  Your child-directed speech will have a greater impact on them.

from the desk of Erica Jannisch, CPNP

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