A baby communicates in a variety of ways:
- body language
- facial expressions
- other sounds.
Ask the whānau:
- How is baby communicating with you?
- What kinds of sounds have you noticed baby making recently?
- Have you noticed how their body language changes as they develop?
Why copying baby’s sounds is important
Look at the picture on the SKIP baby frieze together, which says ‘copy my sounds’.
- Why do you think this is important?
Read page 17 in the SKIP Whakatipu booklet Te Pihinga 1 Whānau say, where it says:
‘When we copy the sounds pēpi makes it invites her to kōrero more. We’re taking turns just like in a real conversation.’
Language areas of the brain are stimulated when parents talk and copy baby’s sounds. It reminds whānau to pay attention and listen to the noises that baby is making — and by repeating them back, whānau are encouraging early conversations.
- How do you get baby’s attention?
- Do you use words or sounds?
- What words and sounds do you use?
Speak in parentese
Babies pay more attention to the style of speech known as ‘parentese’. This means talking more slowly, exaggerating mouth movements and using a higher pitch.
A young baby’s brain is able to process this style of speaking more easily.
Other tips on communicating with baby
There’s more information about learning to talk and having conversations in Te Pihinga 1 as well.
For example, page 21 explains the importance of being face-to-face with baby when we talk, so they learn to match which mouth movements go with the sounds they hear.
Talk with the whānau about what else is happening for baby during their early communications:
- They learn to understand language much earlier than they can speak it.
- By having conversations they learn about taking turns and sharing.
- Baby may practise making sounds when they’re on their own too.
Babies who hear language used often, in everyday loving interactions, are more likely to do well at school and become confident, self-motivated learners.
How does this topic relate to the SKIP resources?
Baby Wall Frieze - Tāruatia taku reo - copy my sounds
Six things children need - Te kōrero me te whakarongo - talking and listening