Now if you read my previous blog post, you know I love for baby to listen to classical, complex melodies. I also think it's important for them to listen to the music you like to listen to (because that's what you will be playing in the car, let's face it) as well as listening to those classic baby songs. You know, The Wheels on the Bus, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Old Macdonald, etc. Now if you don't remember the words, don't panic! Let me introduce you to Cocomelon. It's a Youtube channel with all the classic songs plus some new one and they have the lyrics right there for you! The videos are awesome too, but I'm not letting the baby watch the videos just yet. I just play the music and watch the lyrics. There's a lot of Cocomelon videos and they have songs in different orders and different videos have different songs. They are super catchy and you might find yourself singing them randomly.
2) Narration: I don't always use baby talk. I think everything in moderation. So when I narrate I use my regular voice. I keep the pace slow though. Narration is when you just talk about what it is you are doing. Kind of like you were telling a blind person what you were doing. It goes something like this, "Mommy is picking up the clothes. Now I am folding them. I'm going to put them down right here in this pile. I picked up the red shirt!"
You can also do this as you walk around the house. Sometimes the only way I can calm my baby down is walking, so we walk all around our house. As we walk I tell him what we are passing. It goes something like this, "We're in the kitchen now. I see the sink and here is the refrigerator where we keep our food. Look are the pretty pictures on the wall!"
3) Sign Language: Now I am not fluent in sign language by any means, but anyone can learn a couple of signs! Signing is a fantastic thing to start with baby from a very young age. They won't be able to sign back, but the more you do it, the quicker they will pick it up. According to Lane Rebelo, author of Baby Sign Language Made Easy, some babies can start using signs as early as 5 months, but most will do so in the 8-12 month range. The benefit of starting early is that babies may respond to your signs. What does that mean? If you sign eat when you see them getting fussy, that might mean that they stop fussing because they know you are getting food ready. Are you doing Elimination Communication? The sign for toilet or potty will be very valuable to cue baby that it's time to use the bathroom. That's a topic for another day though.
Now I haven't signed everything I'm doing. I keep it really basic. We do:
* All done
That's all I've attempted for now. Be sure when you sign, you are also using the word simultaneously. This helps build vocabulary. Check out the video below to see how I use the 'music' sign with baby.
4) Talk Back: Now you may be saying, babies don't talk, so that's dumb. They may not be talking, but they make sounds, and guess what you need to be able to do to talk? You guessed it! You need to make sounds.
In typical development of speech skills, at one month of age, babies should be able to make some vowel sounds ('a' and 'e'), mostly coming through the nose.
By imitating the sounds they make you are engaging in a kind of 'conversation' with them.
You also want to respond to their sounds. The video below shows dad and baby 'chatting' about sports. While baby is only 7 weeks old and making limited vowel sounds, he is modeling the back and forth of communication.
ASHA wrote a post on infant communication here.
Please comment below about things you do with your baby!!