So you have already started interpreting what your baby’s sound of delight, desire and distress mean. How about helping her out to communicate with you and the world around?
Even the youngest of babies are receptive and trying their best to learn the language. The more you understand their gestures, signs and expression, the more you can try to communicate with them by responding to these. It’s time before they can communicate in words their exact feelings, (that usually happens by the time they are around 3-4 years old) nevertheless, you can strike meaningful conversations with your baby by reading and responding to their verbal and non-verbal clues.
Here are some tips to get better at the art of conversing with babies and help them develop linguistic skills sooner.
1. First and foremost you will need to go slow and come down to a level where you can understand her verbal/non-verbal gestures as baby’s reaction time is slower than that of adults.
2. Let her know you are interested in her coos and cries, so listen and respond.
3. By trial and error you can arrive at the exact notions and offer her what she expects without making the interactions taxing and frustrating.
4. Respond to your baby’s cries as it is the first means by which they convey that you are needed, let them know you are there and that they will be taken care of. It helps them feel secure.
5. Take turns to coo, this way they learn the basics idea of a conversation and know they will be responded to when they want to reach out.
6. Your baby needs the repeated experience of hearing you talk in order to understand your language. Talk to your baby constantly about what she is doing or what you are doing to her for her to expect repeated situations and learn the language. Describe your actions and her actions, like ‘I am going to the kitchen to get your milk bottle…’, ‘now I will dress you up for the evening…’
7. Describe what’s happening around. She may not understand the complex world but things like – ‘Did you hear the bell ringing?’…’The toy car has light and sound’… ‘This is my hand touching your little nose, now it’s time for dinner’, etc – introduce many concepts and sounds to them which the babies start identifying and understanding.
8. Telling stories or singing songs is an entertaining way to make them understand the power of the language. Kids usually like repeated stories and jingles as they can better understand the language, use actions wherever possible.
9. Read books to your baby. There are lovely colourful books available for all ages. The colours, pictures or cut outs will excite them to learn new words and concepts.
10. Create a language-rich environment for your baby for them to naturally learn to speak. A baby can pick up more than one language at a time if different family members talk to her in different languages.
Happy communicating with you baby!