Why Is It Important for Parents to Talk to Babies?
It can feel strange talking to your infant who is incapable of carrying on a conversation or even showing you that he comprehends what you're saying. However, speaking to your baby is beneficial to his development -- and also strengthens the relationship you have with your little one.
Infants can tell the difference between the voices of their parents and other adults from the time they are newborns, according to HealthyChildren.org, a website of the American Academy of Pediatrics 46. Speaking with your baby helps you connect and bond with him right from the start. You should talk to your infant as much as often as possible, notes the KidsHealth website.
Your baby is curious about noises -- and none more so than your voice. When you talk to your newborn in a soothing way, she’ll likely stop crying because she can hear that you want to comfort her, notes the HealthyChildren.org website 46. You're also are letting her know that she is worth your attention -- and that she's is important to you 1. Already in infancy, you're promoting a healthy sense of self-worth when you take the time to speak to your little one.
Promotes Brain Development
Talking to your baby is an important tool for developing his brain 1. During the first three years of his life -- the time when his brain triples in size -- your baby's interactions with the world are key in promoting brain development, according to the early childhood experts affiliated with the Talk To Your Baby website 1. When you talk to your baby, you're building the foundation in his brain that will support reading and thinking skills down the road.
Promotes Language Development
When you speak to your baby, you most likely use a high-pitched tone and elongated vowel sounds, a kind of sing-song speech that you likely accompany with exaggerated facial expressions. This kind of "parentese" talking is actually beneficial to your baby's language development, notes the PBS Parents website. Speaking to babies in "parentese" gets their attention -- and they begin distinguishing between pitches and sounds that they hear. This is the beginning stage of learning to speak and understand language. According to the HealthyChildren.org website, by 4 months, your infant is noticing not only the way you talk, but also the individual sounds you make 456. She’s beginning to notice how vowels and consonants combine into syllables, words, and sentences.
- Talk With Your Baby: Why It's Important to Talk With Your Baby
- School Library Journal: It’s Never Too Early: Parents Should Talk to Their Young Ones Long Before They Can Speak
- KidsHealth: Communication and Your Newborn
- HealthyChildren.org: The Secret to a Smarter Baby
- HealthyChildren.org: Language Development - 4 to 7 Months
- HealthyChildren.org: How Do Infants Learn?
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images