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3 easy ways to boost baby’s brainpower with just your voice

How you help your little one thrive

We all want our little ones to gain language skills that set them up for lifelong success, but did you know that talking, reading and signing to your child each provide unique benefits that help your baby’s brain to grow?


Speech

Responding to your baby through speech, even when her babbles don’t make much sense to you, can actually help speed language development. Baby: “Goo, goo?” Mama: “Oh yes, you’re right sweetie, I should look that recipe up on Google.”

Song

Researchers also believe that babies gain new insights about how words work when you sing to them. Another reason to Rock A Bye, Baby.

Reading

And new research demonstrates that reading books to baby, even from the first week of life, introduces baby to a wider range of vocabulary words than spoken language alone. Goodnight Moon anyone?

Too Small to Fail Initiative

The Clinton Foundation’s Too Small to Fail initiative are leaders in early childhood literacy, and are bringing Motherly’s readers tips on ways that you can incorporate more talking, singing and reading into daily life with your little one.

Narrate your day to baby

When they coo, coo back

Your touch and voice help your baby learn. Listen to the fun sounds

your baby makes and repeat them. When they coo, coo back. Hold their

hand gently and when they smile, smile back. Your loving touch combined

with this back-and-forth “baby language” are the first steps in

talking.



Talk about what you see

Everywhere you go, talk about what you see and what your baby is

looking at: “Wow, I see the four dogs, too!” “I love that red truck you’re

playing with. It goes beep beep!”



Play peek-a-boo

Play “Peek-a-boo” while getting your baby dressed. Ask, “Where’s

(baby’s name)?” when you pull a shirt over your baby’s head. Then say,

“There you are!”



Describe taste, feel, & look

As you feed your baby, use words to describe what foods taste, feel, and

look like. “This yogurt is smooth.” “That yellow banana is sweet!”



Look into your baby’s eyes

Looking into your baby’s eyes, holding your baby’s hand, and talking to

your baby in a high voice are all ways that you can help your child grow

up to be a confident, loving adult.

Read books to your little one

Tell a story

Read a book or tell a story to your baby every day – in whatever language

you feel most comfortable – beginning at birth.

Cuddle

Cuddle with your baby as you share a book. It doesn’t matter how

young your child is; even newborn babies are learning when their parents

read with them.

Point to pictures

Point to the book’s pictures: “Look, the train goes choo-choo!” Using

words to describe what you see builds language.

Don’t forget to sing!

Sing lullabies

Hold your baby close during bedtime and sing a favorite song again and

again. Singing the same song can help your baby feel calm and safe.

Sing silly songs

Sing silly songs about your day to help get your baby’s attention during

diaper changing. Your baby loves to hear your voice even if you think you can’t sing! The

sound of your voice is comforting to your baby.

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

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