We often see some babies responding surprising well to their mothers, and others who appear less than average in their responses. Is this just a sign of baby intelligence or are there other factors at play?
Researchers say that proactive communication and interaction can make a dramatic difference in a baby’s development. Reading bedtime stories to babies and talking to them from before birth boosts their brain power and sets them up for success at school. Just casually talking to your baby helps them learn the structures of language and construction of sentences which boost their ability to assimilate the world around them.
Studies have found striking differences in the vocabularies of babies and toddlers and their ability to understand and express themselves as early as eighteen months. Parents who spoke to their children most came out best in tests at two years old and were ahead by as much as six months. This advantage appeared to last and affect the children’s learning for the next six years.
Professor Anne Fernald, a developmental psychologist at Stanford University in California, one of the leading research institutions in the world, said chatting with infants helped them understand the rules and rhythms of language at an early age and provided them with the tools to build an understanding of how the world around them worked.
Repetition helped the children remember words, and longer sentences enabled them to build better connections. Professor Erika Hoff, a developmental psychologist at Florida Atlantic University, said parents should not restrict their conversations to simplistic baby talk. "Children cannot learn what they don't hear," she said. Therefore, speaking to babies normally and not just in baby talk is beneficial to babies. Parents can do this during their normal activities around the house, confident that baby is listening and taking it all in.
Mothers these days are probably busier than they have ever been, many working part time and even full time, others caring for more than one child, others still as single parents, so how can they resist the temptation to plonk their baby in a comfy place and give them a mobile phone, ipad or tv to watch, while they get on with a whole lot of other conflicting priorities?
7 Professional Genie Tricks (Progenitrix)
1. Start talking to your baby while you are still pregnant and encourage your partner to do so too. It will recognise your voices and be comforted by it. The rhythm of your voices will also enable it to grasp language quicker after it is born.
2. Talk to baby while feeding it to describe what it is being fed and how yummy the food is. Speak quietly while feeding to soothe and calm baby and make feeding a relaxed and enjoyable experience.
3. Don’t just speak in baby words. Normal speech is also essential.
4. Make eye contact with baby while talking to indicate that it should be listening to you.
5. Talk to baby and read bedtime stories while putting it to sleep.
6. Keep baby close and speak to baby normally while cooking, ironing and other chores.
7. Speak to baby while going out for a walk about all the things around you instead of walking silently or being distracted by your phone.
This will make your day more fun, teach your child so much more and boost it's brain power.