For the first one to two years of life, a baby isn’t able to speak. As a result, many fathers struggle to talk to their infants. How do you talk to an infant when they can’t talk back to you? Even though your baby isn’t able to speak, she is listening and her brain is learning to recognise frequently used words. The more words she hears, the larger her vocabulary will be by age 2. For this reason, fathers should not stop talking to their infants.
What can fathers talk about to their infants? Reading daily to your child is a good place to start. Describe the actions you or your infant is doing. Let your infant feel an object and describe its colour, shape, and texture to her. While the quantity of words is important, dads, don’t forget to focus on quality as well. Studies have found that one-on-one interaction and the frequent use of parentese – the slow, high-pitched voice commonly used for talking to babies were reliable predictors of language ability at age two.
By Parcsen Loke, Family Life Coach, Centre for Fathering. To reach Parcsen, please make an appointment at: calendly.com/iamparcsen.
Food for Thought: What is your favourite activity you when engaging your baby?