Prenatal-Infant: Language & Learning
Read to your baby even before she is born. She will know your voice when she is born.
Read about what babies learn as they grow. Your baby learns new things every day.
Talk about what you and your baby are doing. He loves hearing your words.
Let your baby play with baby books. She may put it in her mouth, start at the back, or hold it upside down. Best of all, she is having fun with the book.
Visit your library. Check out books and go to story time. Your baby will love seeing the other children there too.
Explore language and sounds with your baby. Repeat your baby’s sounds, and have back-and-forth conversations.
Babies enjoy being carried and hearing the words that describe the things around them. Talk about the red ball or your favorite chair.
Explore different ways to use toys.
- Shake the toys.
- Rub them on your baby’s arm.
- Bang the toys together.
Babies love to watch faces – especially yours. Explore what happens when you smile and move your face closer.
Explore ideas more than once. Sometimes your baby won’t respond to a toy one day, but will love it two days later.
Ask your doctor about what your baby is learning as he grows. Read about child development in the library, or visit child development facts.
Ask yourself, “What do I want to teach my child today?”
Ask yourself, “how many words am I using around my baby?” When children are talked to and hear lots of different words, their brain grows so it is easier for them to learn.
Ask your baby a question, and pause for her answer. She might answer you by raising her eyebrows, kicking her feet, or moving her hands – or maybe all three!
Discover what your baby responds to at each age.
- Does she look for you when you come into the room?
- Does she reach for your face?
- Does she smile when you sing to her?
Discover ways to encourage your baby to babble and use his voice: smile, clap, repeat his sounds. This encourages his communication and confidence.
Talk to your baby about what you are going to do. Babies like to know what is happening. Discover the ways that your baby is responding to your voice.
Discover baby books. Babies like photographs of babies and animals, and books they can handle, feel and chew, like cloth and board books.
When your baby is alert and looking around, she is saying “I am ready to play with you now”.
When your baby puts his hand up or turns his head, he may be saying “I have had enough”.
Use everyday moments to play. Talk and sing.
- Bath time can become a time to play with water and learn about being wet or dry.
- Getting dressed can be a time to play with fingers and toes.
Babies learn from and enjoy imitating. Smile and clap and see how your baby responds.