What do cats and babies have in common? Well, probably a few things, but I'm actually thinking of you and the way that you talk to them! We instinctively talk to babies in 'Baby Talk', a way that we also talk to animals. 'Baby Talk', or 'Motherese', is characterized by higher pitch and more variance in tone. There's been a lot of research into why we do this - it is believed to help with cognitive development and in getting a babies attention. The high pitch sound may also appeal to babies more than our more regular voice. Experts recommend that we do also use regular speech to aid our babies language development, but there seems to be broad agreement that 'Baby Talk' is beneficial and a natural part of the way we interact with our babies.
Can you imagine how confusing it would be if you were put in a car and driven off with no idea of where you were going? That is the reality for your baby every day! You carry her around the house, drive her off to different places, take her to meet other people and so on. Whilst this is planned in your mind and you know what you are doing, your poor baby has no option but to tag along with no idea what's intended! Tell your baby what you are doing, where you are going, who you are going to see! At first it will mean nothing, but continual chatter with your baby will help your baby learn and begin to associate words and language with actions, people and places. Tell her that we're going to change her nappy, that we're going to eat tea, that it's time for bed, that we're going to playgroup, that we're going to the shops. In time, your baby will begin to understand what's coming up, and will have learned their first words!
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