For adults, at first, the newborn cry seems foreign language but the only language your baby is familiar with at the infancy stage is crying i.e. the only way they could use to tell you what they need. The baby will cry when hungry, sleepy, has soiled nappy or needs your attention. Of course, this mode of communication is accompanied by a few cues and facial expressions. But, as your baby grows older, they will learn to communicate with words just like adults. Till then, here are tips and tricks on how to communicate with your baby.
1. Smile and Pay attention
Even before your babies could speak clearly, they can grasp the basic meaning of what you are trying to communicate. They also understand your emotional tone. So, to encourage your child to talk - pay close attention towards what they are trying to communicate with a sense of conviction.
• A smile is the best booster. Whenever your child is trying to communicate, cooing or gurgling - smile.
• Whenever your baby laughs or babbles, pay attention towards them. Don’t look away, interrupt or talk with someone else. Look at them and smile.
• Give your baby lots of attention so that they can speak to you with their own sense of communication - even when you are busy with other tasks.
2. The more you talk, the better it is
The voice babies are very familiar with is the voice of a mother and father. They love it when they hear you talk in a warm and happy voice. They would love it even more when you are communicating with them. Babies learn to communicate in words by imitating you and the sounds they hear around them. So, the more you talk, the faster they learn speech and master language skills.
• You can have conversations with your baby throughout the day by talking and explaining about the activities you do. It might be doing laundry, cleaning the house, feeding, dressing, bathing, etc. This helps your child to associate the sounds of language with objects and activities. Talkative parents tend to talkative children.
• Having some alone time with your infant is very important. The baby learns more when the communication is one-on-one, with the parent and with no other persons around. Along with communicating, this also helps you both to connect with each other.
• Don’t expose the baby to too much of TV. Too much of seeing or hearing from the TV could stunt language growth.
3. Imitate your baby
Conversations are best when it is two-way. So, whenever your baby is trying to communicate with you through their language by babbling or cooing, ensure that you reciprocate. This sends out the message that their feelings and what they are trying to communicate with you matters.
• Imitate your baby’s vocalizations. They will love it and be encouraged to try communicating with you more.
• But not just vocalization, try to reinforce the communication by smiling and imitating facial expression of your baby.
• No matter how busy you are, ensure you respond to what your child is trying to communicate
4. Other tips to communicate with your infant
• Sing songs and rhymes. It is a fun way to help your child in building language skills. And you can sing anywhere and everywhere - in the car, bath, while changing the nappy, during bedtime - even if it’s off-key. Your baby will love the rhythm of the words and will be soothed by your voice.
• Read books and stories. The whole idea of having some special time together could be implemented by this method. Read some books and tell them stories. With time, it will help learn words, build vocabulary and (in later stages) boost imagination too.