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How To Talk To Your Baby

Parenting Tips

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Updated December 12, 2004

It is very important to talk to your baby. You may wonder how much of what you say is understood by your baby. But don't worry. When you talk, your baby is listening. When you talk to babies, use simple words and phrases. You should speak clearly. You can get your baby's attention by widening your eyes and mouth. You can also change the pitch and tone of your voice. These are your baby's first lessons in communication.

Here are some tips for talking to your baby:

  • Look at your baby's eyes while you are talking to her.
  • Call your baby by her name.
  • Keep your talk simple. Say "pretty baby." Use the words "mommy" and "daddy" when you talk to her.
  • Watch for your baby's expressions and listen to her sounds. Make these same sounds and facial expressions back to her.
  • Add gestures to your talk. Say "wave bye-bye to the dog" as you wave to the dog.
  • Ask your baby questions. "Would Maria like to have her milk now?" "Does Maria want to go outside?" Ask the questions even though she can't answer.
  • Talk about what you are doing. As you dress, bathe and change your baby, talk about what you're doing.
  • Read to your baby. Babies love nursery rhymes and poems. You can even use a lively voice and read your favorite magazine or book to her. If you can, use books with stories that include a baby, a rattle or other common things. (You can find lots of children's books at your public library.)
  • Sing to your baby. It is important while she begins to learn language skills.
  • Watch for signals from your baby when you are talking to her. If she is smiling and keeping eye contact, she is saying she wants you to keep on talking.
These tips were reproduced from the U.S. Department of Education.

View more Infant Parenting Tips.

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