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Talk, Sing and Cuddle with Baby

By Maureen Penko

So much preparation goes into the arrival of a baby. The parents and extended family wait with anticipation for the arrival of the little one. Prior to the baby being born as a mother you experience many emotional and physical changes. Fathers also experience the emotions but in a different way. A lot of medical appointments informs you of the stages of this developing human being, called the baby. Children in the family can see the physical changes in their mother and also observe the activity of the soon to be born baby. The foot moving or possibly the leap. Through all of this there is a lot of talking and sharing about the baby. The voice of the mother is detected by the fetus as is the mood. Music is a wonderful sharing experience for both mother, and baby to be as well as for the children in the family. The sense of touch is experienced by all through cuddles and hugs and is also a wonderful emotional experience. As parents to be you read about what the development means so that you understand what is occurring in that water bath call the womb.

Once the baby is born everyone in the can hardly wait to see the baby and congratulate you. It is a busy and demanding time and if this is not your first child then having the support of another adult to help out would fit everyone's needs. This is also a time that you may want to consider enrolling your older children in summer camps to keep them actively learning and having fun while you adjust to the baby.

So, let's get back to the newborn. As I follow my own granddaughters' developmental milestones I am reminded that a new word the Leap has become the latest umbrella term for the stages that the baby goes through in the first 18 months. Each leap discusses both milestones and social emotional development. It specifically addresses what the baby senses through these stages and there are 10 of them. The word leap has a positive energy to it and reminds you that each of these are big emotional, social, learning, and communication stages.

In each and every leap the emerging communication abilities of your baby is identified and it reminds the parent that your communication style is very important. The cry is reinforced by what we do in response when its heard. Let me share some key communication efforts that we as parents must attend to as our baby begin the communication journey:

One month - Throaty sounds

Two months - Coos and gurgles

Three months - Watches your face and tracks. Looks towards sound

Four months - lots of vocal sounds during play

Five months - the smiles are increasing

Six months - the babbling begins

Seven months - banging and bouncing with a change in voice during play

Eight months - sound repetitions

Nine months - giggling and volume of the voice through squeals, shrieks and pleasure is noticed

Ten months- imitates actions and sounds. Lots of lip and tongue sounds

Eleven months - Twelve months - there is definitely a lot of sound variability and the oral preparation towards words.

Through all the leaps and stages the importance of shared reading cannot be emphasized enough. It is a technique that begins with the parent reading to the child before birth and with the other children present. To share in the reading of a book promotes a very important communication skill called joint attention. It is exactly what it says two being involved in an activity together in a shared way. From this early model emerges the ability to play together, and have shared experiences. We see joint attention as so important in children's learning and it is the foundation of language development, relationship building and conversation.

Take the time to enjoy your precious baby and enroll some of your older children in the camps featured in the magazine. Don't forget that singing is a form of communication and one that is a must with baby and all. I want to share the beautiful lyrics of Raffi .

Baby beluga in the deep blue sea
Swim so wild and you swim so free
Heaven above and the sea below
And a little white whale on the go
You're just a little white whale on the go

Maureen Penko is a Speech Language Pathologist and owner of Penko & Associates. She has experience in many areas of communication disorders both in the medical and education areas. The practice has a number of specialists who are experienced in children aages 2-16 years of age. She is a career mentor for the profession with the University of Manitoba.

Feature Articles:

Summer Day Camps Superguide 2022

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Talk, Sing and Cuddle with Baby

5 Ways to Help Reduce the Risk of Birth Defects

The Importance of Sleep and How Sleep Training can Help

Mothers Day 2022

Making Constant Change Part of Our New Routine

Top Safety Tips for a Safe Laundry Room and Kitchen

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