There are many milestones that parents worry about their babies reaching; however, literacy and language skills don’t quite make the top ten until a few years later. The Canadian Pediatric Society has recently updated their recommendations for doctors and nurses about how to advise new parents on increasing/encouraging literacy and language.
According to the experts, here are five ways to grow your babies brain!
1. Sing to baby
Singing lullabies definitely gives a boost to babies development. In an article by pnmag.com, Colwyn Trevarthen, a professor emeritus of child psychology at the University of Edinburgh, found in his research that newborns are naturally fluent in the language of music. Infants have an excellent sense of rhythm, and they respond to music on an emotional and physical level.
2. Snuggle up and read a story
Snuggling up with baby and reading a story will enhance their attention, engagement, and connection to the reader.
Sarah Ecclestone, a speech-language pathologist at Erinoakkids Centre for Treatment and Development, spoke to Today’s Parent about Toddlers and reading, yet her advice can apply to babies too. “Don’t worry about reading every word. Having conversations about the pictures will help them make connections between the book and real life.”
3. Use story time or songs to create routines at bath time and bedtime
Thanks to Pinkfong, songs from the Baby Shark repertoire and oldies but goodies such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” make for not only catchy tunes, but when you sing them to your little one as a part of their routines, they will start to know exactly what time it is.
4. Use story time instead of screen time
Although there are some excellent websites such as ABCMouse and others that can lend a hand when it comes to moving baby’s development in the right way, there is no substitute for having story time with mom or dad. This not only helps them to develop language skills and literacy, it creates a one-on-one moment that will screen time cannot replace.
5. Talk about what you see around you
Baby’s brains are soaking up the sounds, tones, and language when you talk to them. Parents that talk to their children help their little ones develop stronger language and conversational skills. If you speak a second language, toss that in too! Baby will automatically grow up speaking and understanding more than one language. So, while you are changing diapers or just sitting in the park, talk about the things that you see around you. You will be surprised how they happily coo in agreement.