What you need to know about communicating with your baby

(hint: there might be some singing involved!)

baby-164003_1280I’ve been a new mum and I know how exciting it is taking our children to singing classes, baby signing, baby gym…and many other fun mother and baby activities. But can these activities assist with communication and language development in our baby?
While some classes can definitely enhance socialization in our little ones, and give us an opportunity to speak to health and education professionals about normal development, ultimately what we do as parents the other 6 days and 23 hours per week is what really counts!

With that in mind, I asked Dee Wardrop, a paediatric speech pathologist based in Melbourne (Australia), to talk to me about all things Language and Babies.

Some of the things that I learnt are:

  • there is actually a language called Motherese – that sing-song funny voice that we all can’t help but use when talking to babies (even though we might feel silly!)
  • that we can use repetition and songs to help language development
  • that it counts as a word if it is the same sound consistently attributed to the same object (for example, pointing at the dog and saying “oof, oof”)
  • that our babies love our faces and our voice – they don’t need much more for entertainment in those early days!
  • there is a language explosion between 12-18 months of age and we would expect to hear around 100-150 words from our children around this age

If you are a parent (or soon to become one!) I highly recommend checking out this video and putting these tips into action. There was so many gems in this interview – let me know which was your favourite!

Dee also talked about some red flags to look out for and where to get help if you have any concerns about your child.

Bottom line: Getting help from a speech pathologist earlier rather than later is so much more effective, so seek help if you are worried.

If you are based in Melbourne, you can find Dee and her colleagues at:

http://www.deewardrop.com.au/

Dee has clinics based in: Thornbury, Seddon, Yarrambat

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