If you have a new baby or are expecting a new baby soon, I bet you have hopes that he will be smart. What if I told you that your personal interactions with your baby have a huge impact on his cognitive development? It’s true! Babies whose parents talk to them are smarter! Kids from families with educated/professional parents know about 1,100 words by age 3 while kids from lower education level/low income homes only know about 500.
What does this mean for you?
Well, let it be an encouragement to talk to your baby! Everyday interactions with parents and adult caregivers as an infant can significantly increase a child’s readiness for learning at school. Here are some ways you can do this:
Describe what you see at the grocery store, on a walk, or while giving baby a bath. Describe what you are doing anytime you are with your baby and she is awake and alert. Just talk to her in a soothing voice, but use complete sentences and stay away from “baby talk” where some of the words are not pronounced correctly.
Sing silly songs. They will make your baby smile and laugh, but they will also expose your baby to more words. That’s a good thing.
Read to baby.
Give lots of hugs and kisses and take time to really enjoy your child. Let him know that he is loved and well taken care of!
If you’re still not sure what to talk about or how to talk to your little one, visit http://www.talkingisteaching.org for a little nudge in the right direction.