Early Communication

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First found May 22, 2018

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Information for Parents:
Early Communication (Infants)
What is Early Communication?
Infants have many needs and they are born
with ways to let you know what they are.
Early communication with infants is all about
recognizing and responding to their needs.
Long before babies can talk, they are able to
communicate with the people in their lives. In
fact, babies are born communicating, as shown
by their first cries just moments after birth.
While these earliest forms of communication
are important for expressing needs, they are also
the foundation for relationship development
with parents and caregivers.
Why Early Communication
Matters
Early communication matters because it is how babies let
parents know what they need.
It is important to consistently respond to a baby’s cues
(crying, fussing, facial expressions, and sounds) to help build
a connection. Your responses may include feeding, a diaper
change, swaddling, smiling, talking, or simply picking up
your child.
In the first months of life, you cannot “spoil” a child. Most
babies cry because they need something. If your baby is
crying, pick him up.
The foundation for success in school and throughout
life is created in infancy through supportive, responsive
interactions with parents and caregivers.
Information for Parents:
Early Communication (Infants)
What Parents Can Do
Right from birth, talk with your child! This helps her to
connect with you and get her started on the path to learning
language.
Before your baby can talk, play sound games with her. If she
babbles, babble back!
As your baby gets older, remember that it will take time for
her to learn how to pronounce words correctly just as it may
take time for you to understand what she is trying to say.
If you think she might be trying to say a real word, say it
for her, and see if she agrees that you’ve said the right one.
Younger children may know the word before they can say it.
If he says “wabbit,” don’t criticize him. Just say the word
correctly, “Yes, that’s a rabbit.”
To help build vocabulary, describe objects with lots of details.
But use short sentences!
Don’t add too many new words all at once. For example, if
your child says “Car car”. You could say “Yes, that’s a blue
car! And look, it has black wheels.”
Read to your child every day. Reading introduces him to a
wide range of sounds and words. Find books that you both
think are fun, and stop before your child gets bored.
Help your child to hear and say the sounds of language by
reading books together, singing songs, and learning playful
nursery rhymes. If you’re concerned that your child has difficulty with speech,
talk to your child’s healthcare provider.
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