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Why Is Conversation Good for Baby?

I know I’m supposed to be talking to baby but why? And what should I say?


I know I’m supposed to be talking to baby but why? And what should I say?

The Bump Expert

Baby heard your voice for nine months and needs continued chats to develop a language of his own, says Paula Prezioso, MD.

Studies have shown that babies respond very early to voice -- especially mom’s -- and talking helps baby later progress through the milestones of cooing to babbling to single words and phrases. Children not exposed to language, even from an early age, can have delayed vocabulary development at school age, Prezioso says.

At first, it might feel weird talking to someone who can’t talk back, but once you get started, it will feel less foreign. Here’s how:

It doesn’t have to be baby talk. Chat with baby however feels right to you. “Some people automatically speak in a higher register to babies,” Prezioso says. “Others talk to their kids in a normal voice and without using words like ‘boo boo,’ so they learn the proper names for things.” Either is totally fine.

Read anything. “It could be The New York Times or whatever you have to read for work. Baby just wants to hear your voice,” Prezioso says. “Read every day.”

Sing. Baby gets exposed to language through song. And babies love to be sung to -- it doesn't matter if your voice is off-key!

Narrate. Talk to baby throughout the day and tell her what you’re doing and why. Make a face-to-face connection when you can. But, it’s okay to have periods when you’re silent too. “Baby might get fussy and may just need some quiet,” Prezioso says. “You’ll begin to read baby’s cues.”

Expert: Paula Prezioso, MD, is a pediatrician at Pediatric Associates of NYC.

Elena Donovan Mauer

re: Q: Conversation good for baby?

i always talk to DD like, what are we going to make daddy for dinner and do you wanna come with mommy to the store. I like to make her feel like she knows what I am talking about.

Mrsk1020 |

Q&A: Why is conversation good for baby?

I always talk to my son, even though I know he dosen't understand anything yet. Its so adorable when I ask him how his day at daycare was and he responds with grins and babbles and I say, "really? Tell me more!" and then he babbles again. We carry on lengthy conversations like this.

sugarcookiedog |

Q&A: Why is conversation good for baby?

Talking to DS is the best part of my day. Like a pp I ask what he did and he smiles and coos back at me. Then I sing to him and I swear he tries to sing along. I love it. He also gets his legs and arms going all over the place when he's trying to chat with me, like he's really excited. It's the best! I also try to speak spanish to him every once in a while.

rcollier_17 |

Q&A: Why is conversation good for baby?

I talk to my daughter and explain what I am doing. She is so interested in every thing I have to say. I did the same thing with my 4 year old son and he has an amazing vocabulary and is interested in helping out all the time. It makes me feel good to know that they are so interested in me!

Cartersmom06 |

Q&A: Why is conversation good for baby?

When DD wakes up in the morning I pick her up out of her crib and she stretches and I say..."ahhhhh stretch". Then I set her down to get her ready for the day and I start talking to her. I ask her how she slept and how her night was. She just smiles at me and talks back in her own way. Then when I get home from work, she is already home because DH picks her up. If she is awake and not occupied I will take her and ask her how her day was and if she missed mommy and daddy. DH says he also talks to her on his way home...even if she is fussing/crying a little. I also talk to her in the car in the morning on our way to daycare as much as I can. It's hard sometimes esp if you can't see them.

angelame1979 |

Q&A: Why is conversation good for baby?

Our 9.5 week old just LOVES it when my husband plays guitar and sings for him. I feel so lucky to have a kids' musician for a husband and little Elvis is lucky too but oddly enough, his fave tunes aren't necessarily the ones from the kids' albums my husband's band has made...Folsom Prison Blues is just about his favorite and he seems to dig John Prine tunes too:)!

heyjenna |

Q&A: Why is conversation good for baby?

I felt kind of bad after that last post - of course, our little guy loves his Dad's tunes too! Actually, putting on the two CDs Dad's band has made are how I calm him when he's gotten really hungry while I prepare his bottle! The music is, in my opinion, also totally enjoyable for adults - of course, I am biased:) So, if you want to check it out for yourself, feel free - - keep talking/singing to those babies!:)

heyjenna |

Q&A: Why is conversation good for baby?

Talking to your baby is hugely important!! Even though they don't understand every word, hearing language, its patterns and a variety of words helps build connections in the brain right from birth. I working on getting my specialist reading credentials and this topic comes up time and time again. There are numerous studies to support that talking to your baby, and especially reading to them aloud, helps them develop spoken language and later reading and writing. There was recently a podcast on NPR that that touched on this. The study they cited "estimated that by the age of 4, children of professional parents had heard on average 48 million words addressed to them while children in poor welfare families had heard only 13 million." This has consequences in school and is not something that can just " be caught up" later even with the best teachers and intentions. Talk, read, sing and play with language with your children for as long as you can...Read aloud to them as long as they let you. We are still, as adults, learning new vocabulary and "how to read" new materials all the time. So even if they can read themselves, read to them to expand their language base.

jkrnomad |

Q&A: Why is conversation good for baby?

My Zaiden kicks his hands and feet up, babbles and make throaty sounds when I talk to him.


Q&A: Why is conversation good for baby?

so they can learn words and be comforted by the human voice

cindiblazina83 |

Q&A: Why is conversation good for baby?

For the past week I have started doing head shoulder knees and toes with my 2 month old son and he seems to just love it he will smile so big and start to get loud and move his arms and legs so fast its way adorable

sandrarose08 |

Q&A: Why is conversation good for baby?

Conversation is so important for babies! For example, after I had my first daughter Valerie my mother told me that it's so important to keep a conversation with her because she will smile more she will respond just pay close attention. So I did, I talk to her ask her questions like: "What does Valerie want to do today"? I even like to express to use their name as often as you can that way they get use to that as well. Also think about this, when you talk to your little one just think about how they love hearing that voice they heard for 9 months and just look at them when you talk to them, it's great when I can get my Valerie to smile so I do it all the more! :)

MarcyDeLarm |

Q&A: Why is conversation good for baby?

I do speak to KJ in a normal voice. No baby talk. I ask him about his day. I ask him how he is feeling. I ask him if it is okay for me to do something to him before I do it. He moves his mouth as if to respond. When a sound does come out I respond back.

MrsDLP9211 |

Q&A: Why is conversation good for baby?

I ask my daughter how she is doing and talk about the objects around her. I will sing to her as well. We also play a mimic game where I say words in a happy, high pitched voice, and she mimics them. It seems to help her understand syllables. I can get her to mimic "I love you", "hey", and "good girl" in her baby babble. She really likes how "good" sounds!

kristinyoung111 |

Q&A: Why is conversation good for baby?

I have baby talk with my LO. He'll "coo" and "ahh" and I'll do it right back. Such a dorky thing to witness but it's so fun and he loves it. I'll also put on fun music and dance and sing with him in my arms. He'll start "singing" along with me. If you're going to talk to your baby make it a fun and funny thing to do. You'll never forget the faces they make!

saraplum |