During their first year, babies begin to understand spoken words before they actually utter their first true word. As your baby listens to your vocalizations, she learns the sounds and rhythms of our language. Babies use this knowledge to understand and eventually say meaningful words. Simple repetitive songs and rhymes can be introduced as soon as birth to help your baby sustain and expand her interest in listening to speech sounds.
- A few simple repetitive songs, such as some favorite nursery rhymes or a favorite family song
Step 1: Choose a time when your baby is alert, calm, and appears interested in listening to your voice.
Step 2: Position yourself close to your baby so that you can establish eye contact. Some comfortable positions include holding her in your arms or lap, holding her while rocking in a chair or leaning over her while she is safely laying on the floor or changing table.
Step 3: Sing a favorite song or nursery rhyme to your baby. Some popular favorites include:
- Itsy Bitsy Spider
- Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
- Mary Had A Little Lamb
- The Ants Go Marching One By One
Don’t worry about the sound of your voice; your baby loves to hear you!
Step 4: As you sing, you can include some finger or hand motions. Try to include your baby’s senses of touch, sight and sound.
Step 5: As you experiment with different vocalizations, watch for your baby’s reaction to your voice. You might see her smile or even try to respond to you with some vocalizations of her own! Back and forth interactions between your voice and your baby’s voice are important for her development!