Research shows that babies in the womb can start hearing voices from about 18 weeks of pregnancy. When you talk or read to your unborn baby, you are already developing a bond with them.
It might feel strange at first, to talk to your baby when they are just born, because they don’t talk back. However, babies are sponges and they are absorbing everything around them. There is a direct correlation between a baby’s intellect and the number of words spoken to them. Even if your baby may not understand the words you are saying to them, the tone, rhythm and intonation is getting them ready for language acquisition.
Here are some tips for you to talk to your baby
1. Have a conversation
Talk to your baby about your day. Tell them what made you smile, list things you accomplished or things you want to do. Ask them for advice and share your thoughts with them. Your baby will start cooing, pause, listen to them and then talk back. The back and forth matters more than them just hearing you talk.
Depending on the age of your baby, use high contrast books, pop up books and lift the flap books to build vocabulary. Sit in a way where the baby can see both the book as well as your face.
Whether nursery rhymes or your favorite band, sing to your baby whenever possible. Babies love hearing the voice of their caregivers especially when it has a catchy tune to go with it.
Add an extra layer of fun and excitement to your stories with puppets. Whether finger puppets or hand puppets, modulating your voice while the puppets mouth opens and closes is sure to grab your baby’s attention.
5. Name objects
As you walk around your house, or even when you’re out in the garden, point to or touch different objects as you name them. If the object has a unique texture, touch it with your baby’s hand or even feet to add a sensory component.
Babies can communicate with signs long before they can use spoken words. Using signs along with certain words will lay the groundwork for when your baby is ready to sign back (between 8 and 10 months) as well as get you into the habit of signing.
7. Tone and pitch
Babies tend to respond better to a high pitched, sing song tone. Talk to your baby in a sing-song voice, slowly and clearly.