“A new-born baby cannot yet make itself understood.” Yes, it can! After all, why does your baby cry? Because he needs something: food, attention, a clean nappy... Crying is your baby’s way of making something clear to you and provoking a response. But there are a number of other ways to communicate with your baby!
Although with such a little person it can still feel a bit awkward at first, nothing is better than cuddling your new-born. Your baby needs this skin-to-skin contact. It makes him feel safe and loved. By the way, did you know that you can’t spoil your baby with attention and cuddles? In fact, physical contact and touch are essential for your baby’s healthy development.
Parents often do it without realising it: they use facial expressions a lot when they are spending time with their baby. This is also the way your baby learns about emotions. You will notice that your little one will start laughing after only a few weeks!
Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself; when it comes to words and language, babies need that repetition to absorb information and be able to imitate it later. As a parent, you can also repeat (or mirror) what your baby does or “says.” Mimic the sounds he makes to make him realise that his expressions are triggering a reaction!
From 6 months onward, you can start using gestures and signs to communicate with your baby. Did you know that this usually also helps your child learn to talk sooner? When you consistently use clear gestures while speaking, this activates both the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Your child will learn to make connections between words and gestures from an early age and will later be able to convert this into spoken language more easily.
This best-known type of sign language is ASL of English/American Sign Language. This language is easy to learn and contains around 500 basic gestures. ASL is often used in families, schools, and facilities for persons with disabilities.
Talk to your baby, even if he doesn’t talk himself yet!
When your baby was still in the womb, he could heard his mom, dad and siblings talk constantly, so it is very nice and comforting when you talk to him or sing songs.
Many people can switch perfectly between adult conversation and the “goo goo ga ga” language of babies, with lots of diminutive words. Baby talk is a trap, however, as it is better that you talk “normal” to your baby after a while.
Some parents find it difficult to communicate with their baby, especially with a first child. We can already hear you think: “But what should I say to my baby?” Whatever you want! Don’t make it too difficult for yourself and simply talk about what you are doing, name what you see/hear/feel, respond to his facial expressions... This allows your baby to learn to make connections between meanings and words and you help lay a solid foundation for his language development!
Get to know each other
A new-born baby is a new person with its own character. Crying is his very first way of communicating with you, so it’s perfectly normal!
It takes a little time to get to know each other, but rest assured, after a while you will understand every cry or moan, and you will soon know if he is hungry, tired or simply wants a cuddle.
Don’t wait for your baby to cry but make sure you cuddle, move, sing and talk a lot. Those little moments are precious and important moments that really count. Enjoy them together!
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