Technique 74 – Use as many different ways as possible to enjoy your baby… with lots and lots of great language.
Birth to Six Months
The idea during these months is to turn crying into vocalizations as a way of communicating. You want to respond to cries to fill needs, but you also want to respond to your baby’s sounds with more sounds as a way of encouraging further language expression.
Cooing, Babbling, and Gurgling
About the Activity: Coos, babbles, and gurgles are some of the most pleasant sounds known to man. You can play this game anywhere.
How to Play: Whenever you hear a sound, say it back. That reinforcement is a communication to your baby to say more sounds.
Singing and Nursery Rhymes
About the Activity: Baby songs and nursery rhymes have been a part of the culture of parents and their newborns for generations. They are a natural form of communication between parents and their babies. The rhythm, beat, and words lay the foundation for future language development.
How to Play: Sing the songs and say the rhymes you know to your newborn or find some in the library or on the Internet.
About the Activity: Reading to your baby should become a way of life sometime during the first three months. Such reading is a loving form of communication and should be done in a meaningful, appropriate, and loving way.
How to Play: Choose books with simple pictures or select magazines or catalogues that have simple clear pictures in them. Point to the pictures and tell about them and point to any words that are written in large print. The whole experience is what is important at the time: holding your baby, communicating with words, and showing stimulating pictures. Even at this age, reading to your baby is part of the whole process of preparing your child to learn to read. The rhythm, vocabulary, and the feeling all play a role in the process.
Naming and Labeling
About the Activity: It is natural to point out to your baby things in the environment and to name them.
How to Play: Take your baby on a walk around your house. Point out and name
whatever you see—pictures, books, candlesticks, flowers, chairs, tables, sofas, and more.
About the Activity: It is a good idea to get in the habit of describing to your baby what you are doing and what he or she is doing.
How to Play: Whenever you and your baby are together, describe what is going on at the time. Here are some ideas: “Mommy is holding you.” “You are bouncing on my knee.” “You are eating bananas.”
Always remember the R, S, and T of parenting.
to your child.
October! The Month of Positive Energy
Some good advice to share with your older child from The Magic Words of Manners
Stay calm while you are playing.
And have fun with what you do.
And always put the toys away
When both of you are through.
Subscribe to Tips