Talk a Lot to Your Baby
Enhancing early language development is one of the more important things that mothers and fathers can do for their child. And research has shown that talking a lot to your baby right from birth is one of the best ways to do that. This may seem like common sense. But it actually is not common sense at all.
Common sense doesn’t tell us to talk to things that don’t talk back. We don’t talk to chairs, we don’t talk to tables, we don’t talk to fire hydrants. We do talk to vending machines, but that is an exception. So why would you talk to an infant who may not begin speaking herself for many months?
The fact is that all parents talk to their babies from time to time. However, it takes a concerted, conscious effort to make sure your little one is exposed to as much language as possible right from the start.
And keep in mind that it has to be “live” language. Placing a baby in front of a TV screen, even if an “educational” program or video is being shown, will have no effect. How an infant’s brain can tell the difference between a “real” voice and a “recorded” voice, even with today’s technology, is a mystery to me; and frankly, I never would have believed it if I hadn’t done the research myself.
So wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, whether you are changing her diaper or enjoying a class at Romp n’ Roll, don’t be shy about being a total blabbermouth. Some day in the future when she can speak herself, your child will thank you for it.
Michael K. Meyerhoff, Ed.D. (a.k.a. “Dr. Mike”) is a member of the management team at Romp n’ Roll. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University, he earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in human development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he also held a position as a researcher with the Harvard Preschool Project. He may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.