4 Tips to improving your baby's communication skills
Even though babies don't really start talking beyond their normal babbling until after they're 1 year old, it's important for you as their mamá to start encouraging that ability from the time they're born. At first, it might seem a little odd to you to speak to a baby who only looks at you and doesn't really respond. You'll feel as if you're talking to yourself, but the truth is that listening to you speak is helping your child more than you can ever imagine.
I used to talk to my kids even from when they were still in the womb. When they were born, I didn't stop. Sometimes I'd tell the what was on my mind, and sometimes I would describe what I was doing. It seems my method worked, because both are little talkers.
So I want to share some tips so you can help your baby develop language skills:
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1. Music: Not only is it a lot of fun to listen to and dance, but it's also an excellent way for our baby to hear the same words repeated various times. He'll love music, and he'll love it even more if you sing along! Oh, and it' doesn't have to be children's songs: If you love Shakira, play her music and start singing!
2. Reading: I love books, which is why I started reading to my kids since the day they were born. I know they couldn't really understand anything back then, but the idea is that they hear you talk and that they start imitating you with time.
3. Don't stop talking: Like I said before, I felt like a crazy woman talking to myself, but I still went ahead and did it anyways. If you don't know how to start, the next time you're changing your baby's diaper, describe to him or her exactly what you're doing, step by step. What's important is that your baby hears your voice.
4. Talk with your baby: If your baby is at the stage where he's started to say syllables here and there, every time he says something, answer him as if you were having a full-blown conversation with him. Smile and ask questions. In other words, go with the flow. I used to do this with my younger son and we would spend a good while going back and forth like this: He's make some noise, and I'd simply answer back. Try it!
Image via Max Sullivan/Flickr