Teaching by Talking to your Baby
Babies are like little sponges, absorbing everything they see and hear around them. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) “advises parents of young children that reading aloud and talking about pictures and words in age-appropriate books can strengthen language skills, literacy development, and parent-child relationships.”
- Read Books – Get into the habit now of reading regularly to your baby. But don’t just read the words on the page – point out different shapes, colors, and pictures as you flip from page to page.
- Narrate your life – Talking out loud to your baby helps them develop a vocabulary and learn communication skills. It might feel awkward talking to someone who can’t talk back, but talk to them about walking “up the stairs” or “mommy’s cooking dinner!”
- Point out what you see – This is an especially fun exercise while going for walks or running errands. Point out when you see interesting things (“daddy sees a doggy” or “now we’re getting into our car to go buy groceries.”)
- Ask and answer questions – This is a habit you can get into early, and soon you’ll be speaking in Q&A. For example, “there’s a cat! What does a kitty say? Cats say meow!” Or “What should we buy at the grocery store? Our family needs milk and bread.” Before you know it, you’ll ask a question and baby will give the answers.
- Stop and smell the flowers – and even look at the bugs! Remember that your baby sees the world from a different angle than you. Slow your pace and stop to notice ants, “itsy bitsy spiders,” different flowers, birds in the sky, airplanes going by. Soon they’ll be pointing these things out to you!