When we hold a tiny baby in our arms most of us cannot help but smile, coo and talk. These actions have been referred to as ‘Motherese’, an informal language that many mums use when speaking to their baby.
Whilst she won’t understand you, talking to your baby can be an effective way of baby bonding. Here are several steps to take to achieve effective ‘motherese’ and how to talk to your baby to strengthen the bond between mother and baby.
Pitch of voice
Babies are naturally drawn to high pitched voices and as women usually have higher pitched voices than men, this is one reason why babies are often naturally drawn to women, particularly their mothers. Try to exaggerate the pitch of your voice to make your baby even more drawn to it and fond of hearing your voice.
Babies love to stare up and your face and copy the expressions that you do. Exaggerating your facial expressions such as widening your eyes, laughing and smiling will not only help to strengthen the bond between you and your baby, but it will also make your baby more inclined to copy you and encourage that first precious smile.
Maintaining eye contact as you talk to your baby will help to keep her interested and engaged to matter what you are jabbering on about! Regularly keeping eye contact with your little one will mean she grows used to your own eyes are face quicker, developing a bond between you.
Talk to your baby as if she can understand what you are saying. Ask her a question and pause whilst you wait for a response. As your baby gets older she will gradually start to respond and being ‘involved’ in conversations before she can actually understand language will help develop, not only communication skills, but also a bond between yourself and your baby.
Take clues from your baby
If your baby seems to be losing interest in the ‘conversation’ and starts to yawn or look away, now is probably time to stop talking and focus on something else. Communication is a two-way process and therefore pressing your baby to communicate when she is tired or has lost interest will not prove advantageous.