Talk, read and sing to your child from birth
April 15, 2016
There are many new parents who read articles and hear stories about the importance of talking, reading and singing to their child from birth. It is quite logical to do this when the baby is six month old or one year old, but many parents are wondering why they should do this when the baby is younger than six months. It is quite obvious that the babies won’t understand what they are talking or singing about, so what’s the point? In order to understand the benefits of this practice, we should first discuss the development of brain in babies.
From the moment they are born, babies have brains that are able to do many different things. For instance, the baby’s brain can keep the body functioning properly. However, it is also good to point out that their brain is not completely developed yet. The process of development continues until we reach between 24 and 27 years. But, this doesn’t mean that the process of development should not get the support from the parents of the baby. As a matter of fact, the brain of newborn children is able to recognize these stimulations that come in the form of singing, reading and talking which ultimately leads to faster brain development. Obviously, taking care of the physical needs of your baby should be your priority, but you should not neglect communication. Now let’s see how each of these activities affect the baby’s brain and how should we do this.
First of all, you should talk to your baby from day one. If you talk to your baby regularly, the baby will know that it is developing in a friendly environment among people who love them. It was proven that the feeling of love is beneficial for the proper development of babies and children. Regular talking will also make the baby realize that he (or she) is a human and able to communicate too. The baby literally soaks up the words you say and makes the brain cells make progress and develop normally. However, many parents make the same mistake and talk to their children like they are talking to adult people. Whenever you talk to a baby, use the voice that seems appropriate and natural for this kind of conversation. This means that the voice you will use will probably be more soft and gentle. Some studies suggest that the specific tone that new parents use actually comes out from their mouths naturally. In addition, this way of talking is helpful for the babies because they can easily keep their attention.
The next important activity for proper development of your baby is reading. You should start reading from the first weeks. Parents are encouraged to read for a few minutes or more if they want to. This means that parents should not wait for 6 or more months to buy the first children’s books. While it is true that the baby will not understand what you are reading, it is also true that by reading a few stories several times, the baby’s brain will finally be able to recognize the voice patterns and rhythm. In other words, it will have the ability to start understanding the language and start talking earlier. Parents should feel free to read fairy stories, nursery rhymes, stories from baby magazines or even the words found on the food products babies consume. The content is not very important. The main point is to help your baby listen to the words from the same language and support language skills development.
Finally, the last activity we have mentioned is probably the most interesting for all parents and for the baby too – singing. Just like in the case of reading, you can sing whatever you want to your baby – happy songs, lullabies, calming songs, gently whistle some melody or sing your favorite pop song (just don’t do this very loud). Don’t hesitate to sing even if you believe that you are not singing well because your baby won’t mind that. As a matter of fact they will be happy to hear you sing. What is important in this case is to sing the same songs all the time. Repetition is crucial for their brain development and developing specific patterns of learning. In addition, repetition makes them feel secure and safe.
By talking, reading and singing to your baby from birth, you will be able to strengthen the bond and become more connected to your baby.