When babies are born, the only way they can communicate with you is through crying. This is their way of telling you that they need something. By the age of one and two months of age, babies will start to make gurgling and cooing noises as a mark of happiness and contentment. Infants may also begin to grunt and sign too. They may respond to you by listening, looking, smiling and making sounds. Your baby may even make sounds back when you talk to them.
So what can you do to help your baby communicate?
- Talk to, hold and cuddle your baby. Your baby loves spending time with you.
- Give your baby the chance to communicate back to you.
- Interact with your baby by repeating the sounds and faces that your baby makes.
- Talk, Talk, Talk to your baby. This can even be done while doing everyday things like dishes, bathing or travelling. Your baby will love to hear your voice. For example, point out things that you see together while out on a walk or while looking out of the window.
- Sing to your child. There are many great nursery rhymes and lullabies out there. You could even make up your own songs personalized with their name in it.
The best thing that you can give your child is your time. You are your child’s first teacher. Early language development starts with interactions that babies have with their parents/caregivers.
For more information about your child’s language development, contact a public health nurse or speech and language pathologist in your health region.