By Elizabeth Pantley
Babies understand more than you think! You little one may not be able to talk, but he has the use of five amazing senses and a rapidly forming brain to process all the input that surrounds him. From birth, babies are built to absorb information, and they do so at an incredible pace. Just witness the astonishing leap that occurs from a newborn baby to an inquisitive, creative, chatterbox two-year-old!
You can encourage your baby’s intellectual growth in many ways. Here are a few ideas to consider:
Point and name
Give things that your baby sees a name and even a brief description.
Narrate your actions
As you bathe, dress, and play with your baby, describe what you are doing.
See the world through baby’s eyes
This may be the umpteenth time you’ve seen a goose – but your baby likely finds this creature amazing! Try to understand – and maybe even emulate – this spark of wonder in the world.
Use shorter, more specific sentences when you talk to your baby.
Exaggerate your speech
Babies focus on the sounds, pitch, and tone of words, so don’t rush through your paragraphs and leave your baby behind!
Talk eye to eye
Your baby learns how to talk not only by listening, but also by watching the way your mouth and tongue move and the way that words and sounds are formed.
Ask lots of questions
When you ask questions, your voice naturally rises and becomes more animated.
Read to your baby – every day
The early days of reading set a tone for your child’s future relationship with books, which will be critical to his success in school. In addition, your baby will love hearing your voice.
Elizabeth Pantley is a mother of four, grandmother, and author of the bestselling book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution, plus 8 other books in the No-Cry Solution Series which helps Mums and Dads through all key stages of parenting. Visit her at nocrysolution.com.