Talking to your children, from birth is important because it helps them develop their language and communication skills. Plus it’s a normal part of bonding with your children; even new-borns – you aren’t crazy for talking to your baby, even though they can’t yet answer back! There is plenty of science to back up why talking to your baby is so important.
Talk, Talk and More Talk
Talking to your baby or toddler is a crucial part of language and communication development. As these are important skills, the more talking the better!
When you talk to your baby a lot, you use a wide range of sounds and words – even when your child is too young to talk to you, their tiny minds are busy absorbing all those words and sounds. Babies and children who hear more words will quickly start to understand language and once they’re older, it helps increase the number and variety of words they have in their own vocabulary.
Talking to your baby helps with brain development and children who get a good grip on language at an earlier age will usually go on to do better at school, once they’re older, due to their ability to communicate effectively.
How to Talk to Your Baby
If you are reading this and don’t already have children; you might be expecting your first baby, then you might be curious about how and when to talk to your baby. Don’t worry, a lot of it will come naturally when you have your child.
Talking to your baby doesn’t need to be a big deal – just talk about general everyday things; what you’re doing now, what you can see, even singing to your baby.
A lot of natural conversation will come from caring for your child; at feeding or changing time. For example, telling your baby what you’re doing or “isn’t this a pretty dress?”, “oh that’s nice isn’t it?”. It may sound crazy now but most of this chatter will seem very natural when your baby is here.
Of course, there will also be the cooing, which everyone says they won’t do but finds irresistible once they see a lovely smiling baby! Even this is beneficial to babies though, your baby will quickly be able to distinguish the unique noises that you make and recognise that you’re their Mummy.
Don’t feel like there is any limit on the amount you should talk to your baby, any and all talking is great – whilst they’re awake of course.
But babies do also need quiet time too, so if your baby stops reacting to your talking, looks tired or becomes restless, they might be after a bit of peace and quiet.
Babies also start to develop their personality from a young age, and this can affect the amount of talking that they like and how often they like to communicate. Some babies are noticeably quieter than others, some babies make a lot of sounds and can be seen as more ‘outgoing’. You may notice the difference if you have several children – one may have been a quieter baby and toddler.
It’s good to start chatting with your baby as soon as they’re born. Right from birth, your baby will be absorbing everything they can hear, even from just watching you talk.
There is also evidence to suggest that language may start to develop before birth so you wouldn’t be crazy to talk to your bump. Researchers discovered that new-born babies reacted differently to words and sounds that had been repeated daily throughout the third trimester of pregnancy, compared to those they never heard during their time in the womb.
Just in case you were wondering; there is still no scientific evidence to support the theory that playing classical music to your baby bump will result in a smarter child.
Conversations are going to be a little bit one-sided, to begin with, but you will soon notice attempts by your baby to communicate back; starting with eye contact and listening.
As your baby gets a little bit older, give them your full attention when talking to them, to see precious reactions such as smiling, laughing and making sounds.