How do I talk to my baby?
The answer to this is quite simple, just speak to your baby as naturally as you can, giving her plenty of opportunity to respond and listening to her attempts to do so. In the early days you might notice that you talk to your newborn in a particular tone and pitch, this is perfectly natural and for a good reason: young babies respond better to higher-pitch voices. At this stage you may find yourself copying our child’s babbling sounds and having gurgle conversations with her – this is fine too, as your baby will enjoy you copying her and the sense that you are really communicating with each other. It is important though that she also hears plenty of ‘proper’ language, and increasingly so as she gets older.
As you talk to your growing baby it’s a good idea to vary the pitch and tone of your voice and to try speak with natural rhythms and intonation. Do repeatedly use key words and phrases such as your baby’s name and family names, simple questions (‘What have you got there?’ , Shall I get x for you?’ ‘Should we go and find Daddy?’) and common nouns (ball, book,milk, toy, bed) but don’t be afraid to use a broad range of vocabularly: The more words your baby hears from her earliest months, the richer her own vocabularly will be later.
Whenever you’re talking to your child allow plenty of pauses for her to respond to you whether just with a look, a smile or gurgles and bubbles. Babies love it when you reply to their attempts to communicate, so don’t feel silly about having a ‘conversation’ with her, using classic responses ‘oh!’, ‘really?’, ‘do you think so?’, ‘and then what happened?’ or whatever comes naturally to you. Before long you’ll find that your baby is becoming more and more responsive. As she moves into toddlerhood she may well be using ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and ‘there’ (da) responses and gradually other words she picks up,though she’ll probably still use plenty of babble. You can read more about
typical language development in a baby’s first year here.