Never too early to talk to baby


Last week I wrote about typ­i­cal talk for our young­sters so to­day I wanted to break this down into spe­cific ages and stages.

First up – ba­bies. Ba­bies com­mu­ni­cate from day one.

Their brains are prewired to learn to com­mu­ni­cate.

They are born with the full set of 86 bil­lion brain cells but these brain cells aren’t fully co­or­di­nated.

The brain cells aren’t talk­ing to each other yet.

As a re­sult, ba­bies con­tin­u­ally need to out­source their needs so they do this via cry­ing, their gaze, touch and bab­bling.

It’s our re­sponse as care­givers to these at­tempts to com­mu­ni­cate that mat­ters the most.

By six months old ba­bies make noises to get our at­ten­tion, laugh and smile when other peo­ple laugh and smile, and make sounds back to us when talked to.

Some lovely things you can do to en­cour­age baby talk in­clude: get close, let them see your face, make eye con­tact and talk in a sing song voice – ba­bies love this.

Cather­ine Campbell is a spe­cial­ist speech lan­guage ther­a­pist with the Nel­son Tas­man Kin­der­garten As­so­ci­a­tion

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