Talk to Your Baby

Engaging with your baby verbally is an important aspect of interacting with your baby. Evidence confirms the value of talking to babies of all ages beginning in the first days and weeks. 

Talking with your baby enhances your connection with your newborn. It can also provide one more avenue of interaction and enjoyment for you as a parent of your new little one.

You can contribute to your child's school readiness and lifelong learning by engaging in parent and child conversations beginning in infancy. 

In her 2015 book, Thirty Million Words by Dr. Dana Suskind, she explains the importance of parents talking to their babies. You can drastically improve school readiness and lifelong learning by engaging in parent and child conversations. She describes the three Ts to provide as an easy reminder of how to create a rich language environment your baby's enhance brain development. It's a well researched read if you want to dig in deeper to understand the value of parents talking with their babies and be encouraged to talk to your newborn. A wonderful and an easy to remember take away from her book is her three T's prompt with suggestions for interaction with your little one. Here are her easy to remember three T's prompt.

  • Tune In Observation, Interpretation, Action
  • Talk More Talk with your child, Talk with mutual engagement, Talk about and describe mutual activities.
  • Take Turns Engage in conversational exchange, Interact, Ask, Respond

Listening to the sound of your voice is an active learning experience for your baby. They will show interest in your sounds, words and if you try, songs. You will reap the delightful parenting reward of baby chatter in response to your focused attention and verbal engagement with your baby. Learning to talk begins with baby sounds and chatter.

Play with sounds to improve your baby's sound vocabulary (it helps keep things interesting for you, too). Change your tone of voice, make new sounds and sing. Ask questions, describe everything around you and your activities. Have fun with words and your own voice. New sounds will get your baby's attention.

If you feel you run out of things to say to an infant, try reading aloud to your baby. If finding ways to keep your own interest in speaking words to your infant reading aloud can revive your own enthusiasm. This is an excellent activity for engaging everyone especially if you have older children. 

Read aloud books, books, books. Read what you are reading. Fill some of those hours nursing with the reading of a novel for yourself. Read a paragraph, page or chapter aloud. Read directions, recipes, text messages. Read poems, nursery rhymes and baby books.

You are your child's first teacher. You will be your baby's first and most important exposure to language. Know that your spoken words are an important part of your child's early learning environment. Just keep talking, just keep talking, just keep talking.

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