Did you know that babies learn to communicate long before the first word? From the first moments, babies are already able to express their emotions. And so they make their parents or guardians understand what they want, whether they are hungry or sleepy, for example.
How babies communicate
Crying is one of the main ways baby communicates. When crying, the little one shows almost all his feelings, such as dissatisfaction, hunger, thirst, tiredness, discomfort and pain. And, incredible as it may seem, caregivers can understand what babies say. Even if no word is spoken!
Smiling is also another way to communicate. Babies smile in response to anything that makes them feel comfortable, such as after feeding or tucking in their mother’s lap, for example. In addition, facial expressions of anger and joy are also often copied and learned by babies.
Even after 6 months, when the little ones are already babbling, communication still doesn’t make total sense. However, intonation and context make babies understood. Little by little, babies are creating a repertoire of sounds, gestures and also words.
Attention to speech development
Every little snooze the little one usually emits means something. As time goes by, the more attentive parents become the masters and already understand right away what their baby is wanting at that moment. These sounds, like laughter and screaming, can be emitted in pleasant moments of joy. And there are also the grumblings, when babies are uncomfortable, irritated or feeling upset.
However, at the speech development stage, parents need to be very careful. This is because it is important not to try to guess what the baby is talking about. Or do all the little one’s wishes before he even makes the sounds, just by pointing, for example.
So try to speak all the words, like: “Ball? Is that the ball you want?”. Also, encourage the baby to repeat what you said. In this way, you name the objects, demonstrate how to speak correctly, and also encourage the speech development process.
The importance of reading to the baby
We have already talked a lot about the importance of reading for babies. After all, it is until the age of three that the little ones are forming their brain structures. And the stimuli in the books contribute a lot to their development in this fundamental phase.
Besides strengthening the emotional bond between parents and the baby, the moment of storytelling is very important for the little ones to discover new words, different sounds and learn to differentiate feelings, for example. Furthermore, reading stimulates creativity, develops the imagination and much more!
So lie down with your baby, introduce him to the children’s books and talk a lot. Let your baby touch the book, turn the pages and explore the illustrations. And read whenever possible: either in the bath or even before bed. The important thing is to establish a reading routine!
To make this moment even more interesting, remember to do different intonations and facial expressions, gesticule a lot and have fun! In this way, you broaden your baby’s vocabulary and encourage his communication from an early age.
Information you can trust from A Matter Of StyleWhen it comes to content, our aim is simple: every parent should have access to information they can trust. All of our articles have been thoroughly researched and are based on the latest evidence from reputable and robust sources. Read more about our editorial review process.