Dads: talk to your baby

The facts:

Gazing directly into your baby’s eyes, talking to him and waiting for his responses, stimulates your baby’s brain, helping to strengthen the connections that make learning possible.

This also helps him learn to talk, as it is from listening to your voice that he will learn to use language.

Good speaking and listening skills help him to become a good reader and writer, because language skills form the foundation for literacy.

Communicating, talking and interaction help develop social skills and good relationships.

This will show that you love and respect him, enhancing self-esteem.

Spending time talking with him will help the two of you form a close bond – communication is the basis of your relationship with each other.

Most brain development occurs from birth to age two, so babies and toddlers need stimulation as much as they need nourishing food. The best way to stimulate babies’ brains is to connect with them through ‘mutual gaze’ and talk to them from the moment they are born.

The chat:

Whilst out, talk about the things you see when you’re on the bus, in the car or walking to the shops.

In the evenings chat to her during bathtime, or sing to her (it doesn’t have to be a nursery rhyme!) while changing her nappy.

The supermarket is a good place to talk to her and introduce new words, as she is sitting in the trolley facing you. Gain her attention and then describe some of the items as you put them in the trolley.

Try not to ask her too many questions. Instead, tell her about things, especially the things she shows an interest in, like a favourite toy.

Talk with her when she is watching TV programmes, about what you see and what’s happening.

You don’t need to be an expert to help your child develop good communication skills. All you need is a listening ear and the willingness to chat to your child whenever you can.

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