Children’s path to communication starts when they are in their mummies tummies where they build up a familiarity with voices or sounds they hear on a regular basis. Mummy and Daddy’s who read or sing to their unborn baby may notice a glimmer of interest in their new born when they hear that story or song again. Talking to your bump is a great way of bonding with your baby and on occasion your baby may respond with a little nudge or kick in response to your voice. Early communication has begun.
Children learn to communicate in many different ways so it is important to tune into what your child responds to when you are talking with them. Babies can’t verbalise what they want just yet but don’t be mistaken they can communicate their needs quite effectively by either a glance in the direction of their bottle, pointing at the toy they want or by simply moving their body in the direction of who or what they want. Baby babble through cooing, gurgling, blowing bubbles is basically early speech and by responding to this you will make your baby feel listened to and encouraged.
The role of the adult in developing our children’s communication skills is very important. When communicating with your child use simple but clear words, regularly communicating with your child through reading, signing or by having a simple conversation about what you are doing like “mummy is making dinner” is a great way of encouraging their early language skills. Verbally labelling the environment around children will help build up their vocabulary until a time when they are ready to use these words. Giving children time to process what we are saying to them is essential; avoid talking too fast or using very long sentences. Talking to children at their eye level will help them focus better on what is being said and this will help them understand how words/sounds are formed. Through using some of these simple but effective techniques your child’s communication skills will flourish.