I’ve been thinking about baby development. Namely, communication and learning to talk. Ok, ok, I know. At 36 weeks pregnant, it’s a little early to be worrying about teaching baby to talk. But before you write me off as a complete and utter loon, I beg you to take a moment to consider. Talking is communication. Communication begins the minute our little ones are born. Hence, teaching baby to talk actually starts the moment we first set eyes on them. Still not convinced?
Each time your baby cries, he or she is talking to you. Crying is their way of telling you they need something from you. And what do you do? You talk back. You hush them, you tell them it’s ok, you tell them you’re there. And all the time that you are talking, your baby is listening. Well, most of the time anyway! I know that when the toddler is having a melt down there is no point talking as he isn’t listening but… when he calms down, he listens. And he’s been doing that since he was born.
Teaching baby to talk isn’t just about teaching the words he or she needs to be able to string a sentence together. It’s about building confidence, being able to communicate wants and emotions and feeling that you’re being listened to in return. I personally think that it’s never too early to start teaching and developing new skills. I like to be able to tell people that my baby can understand me as much as I can say that my baby can make me understand him too.
Ok, so if you still think I’m taking nonsense then that’s fine. But let me ask you this: how quickly did you learn what each of your baby’s different cries actually meant? I’m willing to bet it was merely weeks before you knew the difference between when her nappy needed changing and when she needed a feed. This means that you’ve been communicating with her all this time! By responding to her cries, my baby can rest assured that I am there for her and that I understand what she is telling me.
I can’t wait to be able to say that I am teaching baby to talk. I can’t wait until I hear that first word. I can’t wait until the conversation is flowing! I haven’t even given birth yet but I am preparing! The best way I know to do this is to talk, constantly. That certainly won’t be a problem, let me assure you of that! But it has to be natural. I’ve always been a great believer in nattering away to my babies like a lunatic. They love it. A running commentary of the ironing can be the best entertainment of the day for some babies. Until daddy gets home, of course.
You need to talk to babies. You need to tell them what you’re doing. And every time you do this, you’re teaching. Baby development is so important and teaching communication skills is one of the most lasting and effective things you can do for your baby. So if you see me talking to my bump now and then, you know what I’m doing. I’m teaching baby to talk. I’m aiding in the vital baby development and I’m revelling in the fact that my baby can understand me perfectly. Even if I’m talking nonsense!