Baby talk is much more than silly babbling. Believe it or not this early form of communication is very important in developing your baby’s interaction skills.Though it can sound like gibberish to you and those around you who may find it hard to suppress a laugh the eye contact, tone of your voice and accompanying gestures mean a lot. There are some very simple things you ca do when talking with your baby to help him develop a solid foundation for the language he’ll soon learn.
It is important to keep in mind that when you talk to your baby is doesn’t matter that he understands what you’re saying but that he is in fact listening to you. You’ll know this because he will look at you and eye contact is the key to communication. Sure his eyes will wander and try to take in everything around him but if you maintain your eye contact while speaking he is much more likely to keep an interest. When you are talking to your baby and he is smiling or waving his arms he is in his own way communicating with you that he enjoys the interaction and wants you to continue.
When you speak to your baby use simple terms and try to say his name as often as possible. Repetition creates patterns and patterns are what we build off. The more a baby hears his name the more likely he’ll understand that he is that person. Point at him when you say his name and point at yourself when you say mommy or daddy. Know what words and sounds make him smile and repeat those sounds, even if they aren’t real words. When he’s smiling he’s happy and that is the green light to keep playing.
When your baby starts to make sounds himself mimic those sounds and the expressions he makes with his face. He’ll scrunch up his nose, shake his head and stick his tongue out and when you repeat those little gestures he’ll start to realize what he’s saying is having an effect. The more interested you are in the sounds he’s making the more he’ll try to interact.
Another good idea is to talk to your baby as you are doing everyday tasks. “Mommy is getting the mail”, “Mommy is petting the doggy”, “Daddy is getting baby ready for a bath” are all good ways to get your baby familiar with word association. Soon he will know that the big fluffy thing is the dog that the envelopes and packages are mail and the soapy bubbles are a bath. This won’t happen overnight, but the more you repeat the tasks and the words the better he’ll get at associating what each means.
Try to add emphasis to your words when you are excited and display different emotions. When your baby smiles smile back and laugh out loud. Say things like, “What a happy baby” and “Who’s a happy baby”. Rub your nose to his and blow gently in his ear to keep him giggling. Tickling a baby is another great way to form an early bond. Singing is another great way to communicate your love and affection. A soothing, gentle voice is music to any baby’s ears.