Cracking the Baby Language Code: 3 Effective Ways to Communicate with your Lil’ Bub
Updated: Jul 25, 2018
Thursday, January 11, 2018
A baby starts communicating from the day he or she is born.
The initial stages of a baby’s life starts with non-verbal communication and as parents, especially if you’re a first timer, it can be a guessing game sometimes as you try to gauge what your newborn is trying to tell you.
Does that cry mean he’s requesting for a feed or protesting? Or is he just simply responding to you?
There’s no doubt that you’ll feel like you’ve won the Nobel Prize if you guessed a cry or gesture right! However, on the other hand, it can also get nerve wrecking if you’re unable to understand what baby is trying to tell you.
The good news is, there are effective ways that can help you work towards better communication with your precious lil’ bub. Parents play a vital role in developing your baby’s communication skills. So, to help you out, Speech Therapist at Sunway Medical Centre, Christine Yu, shares some great tips on how you can effectively communicate with your baby.
How do you effectively communicate with your baby?
1. Speak well & clearly
Baby talk, also known as infant-directed speech, is a speech pattern used when speaking to babies.
“When parents baby talk, they use a higher than normal pitch, a slower speaking rate, has lots of repetition to a specific word and simpler vocabulary,” explains Christine.
For example, “Are you looking at the ball? Do you like the BALL? It is a big BAALL”.
Baby talk has been proven to help children associate words with objects and pay closer attention to speech. Hence, helping them understand the meaning of the word and eventually learn to speak it.
2. Communicate with signs
A new age method - baby sign language - is another way to encourage baby to communicate better. This method is also a great way to develop baby’s language system.
An example of baby sign language is to squeeze your hand, which is a sign for milk.
For example, “Do you want milk (squeeze your hand)? It’s milk time (squeeze your hand)!”
“To effectively communicate using baby sign language, you’ll need to emphasise the action and word,” says Christine.
3. Reading towards a brighter future
Last but not the least, reading to your child has been proven to be greatly beneficial when it comes to not only improving baby’s communication skills but also to build a special parent-child bond.
“The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to read aloud to young children beginning from infancy to encourage word learning, literacy and positive family relationships,” highlights Christine.
It is never too early to start reading to your baby. Christine suggests reading books according to your child’s age. You can start with simple board books, move on to picture ones and eventually longer stories as your child gets older.
“One good predictor of future reading and academic success is the amount of time parents spend reading with their child,” she says. So, allocate reading time in abundance as an opportunity to not only bond with your child but to also enhance his or her developmental skills.
In a nutshell, good communication sets a good precedence to a healthy parent-child relationship. Very young children feel more secure when parents respond to their needs,” emphasises Christine.
Smiling, talking, singing, and reading are some wonderful ways to do so! So, be sure to have fun while encouraging your child to develop his or her language skills.