The word “infant” comes from Latin. It means “unable to talk.” But as you may have noticed, even though your baby cannot talk, he has begun to communicate with you.
- Perhaps you have noticed that when you smile, your baby smiles back. This shows that he likes to have you pay attention to him in this way. It shows that he can pick up on your happy feelings. He is learning to react to people and to communicate what he likes and doesn’t like.
- At the same time, he is learning to take turns. Taking turns is an important part of how people communicate with one another.
- Your baby can also express his feelings of discomfort or distress. Pay attention to him when he is fussy. This will teach him that he can communicate to get his needs met.
- Talk to your baby long before he can talk or know the meanings of words. Babies whose parents talk to them learn to talk at an earlier age. They also learn more words. This is true even though different babies learn to understand and say words in different ways.
- Speak more slowly to your baby than you would to an adult. Say some words more softly and others in an excited way. Use a slightly higher pitch. Babies like it when people talk to them this way. It gets your baby’s attention because he knows you are talking just to him.
- When you talk to your baby, use just a few words or short sentences that you say over and over again. Babies like to hear people call their names. Babies like to hear people say things that make them smile and laugh. Your baby will enjoy listening to you. Later on, he will enjoy talking to you.
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