Talking To Your Baby1

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The latest research shows that talking to your baby builds neural circuitry in the brain, which can help him/her learn language more quickly. Within the first few weeks, baby is listening to you and within the first three months they are "talking" to you. You will not understand what they are trying to convey but those gurgling sounds are conversations your baby is having with you.

You can talk to your baby by just describing your daily routine as you go about doing your chores such as changing a nappy, feeding, hanging out the washing and making dinner. You don't need to keep up a constant running commentary just tell them what you are doing.

When you talk to your baby use your own natural inflection and way of speaking, tell your baby what you are going to do before you pick her up or do anything else with her, this way they can begin to anticipate what will happen next. Being able to anticipate daily events gives a feeling of security and control.

As baby gets older ask for their cooperation when doing things with them such as bathing or changing a nappy. "Can you lift your bottom?" Even if they do not completely understand or have the ability to comply, you are involving them in the task and inviting them to cooperate.

Tell your baby when you are leaving the room. Even though tears may follow, they will eventually learn to accept the fact that you are going but will return shortly.

Other ways of talking with your baby are to copy their noises and hold a "conversation" by taking turns at making the noises. Look at books with your baby describing the pictures, colours, shapes, numbers and letters. Sing songs and nursery rhymes, play peek-a-boo, clap hands, make funny faces and sit in front of a mirror with your baby.

Remember that talking to your baby builds attachment and closeness, but listening is just as important.

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