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Did he just say “Daddy?” Baby talk can be tough to decipher! Here are some fun ways to help your baby communicate with you.
Even if your baby hasn’t said “Dada” or “Mama” yet, there’s still lots of ways to communicate! Here are some ways to have a conversation with a baby:
Lean in. For the first six months, babies are nearsighted. Move in close so you’re about 6-12 inches from his face.
Yada, yada, yada at her. It may seem like your baby doesn’t know what you’re saying, but she’s been listening to the different tones of your since before she was born. Babies know the difference between happy and stressed talk, and they soak up what they hear like little sponges. And after about 18 months, all she’s heard you say will start pouring out! Talk to her about what you’re doing as you do it, and leave space for her to respond. ‘We’re going to take a stroller ride now. What do you think about that?”
“He gets me!” Mimic his every movement and expression. If he turns his head to the side, turn yours, too. Give him your best rendition of his goos and bah-bahs. You’ll capture his attention, even if the exchange is short.
Exaggerate everything. Make your voice squeaky, open your eyes wide and raise your eyebrows. Speak slowly, drawing out your sounds at the end of words: “Are you my bayyy-beee? Oh, yes you a-r-r-e!” There’s a reason they call it “baby talk”– babies respond best to those high-pitched, exaggerated tones.
Work the classics. “Peekaboo,” “This Little Piggy Went to Market” and “I’m going to tickle your tummy!” work (almost) every time.
The best time to carry on a conversation with your baby is when she’s rested, well-fed and has an alert and ready expression on her face. Turning her head from side to side or looking away means she’s hungry, tired or plain had enough.