Talking & Listening (birth - 15 months)
Talking with babies, face-to-face, is the most important thing an infant educator can do. Baby talk might sound silly to outsiders, but it means the world to babies. As you coo, smile, or babble talk with a baby and she responds to you, you get to know each other. Your playful “conversations” build connections in her rapidly growing brain that will help her learn language.
Long before they learn to say their first words, babies learn the sounds of the languages they hear.
- They learn the differences between a question, a command, a playful rhyme, and comforting words.
- They express their feelings and curiosity with their voices, faces, and bodies.
- They learn what key words mean.
- They build foundations for thinking, making friends, telling stories, and continuous learning as they listen and babble back to you.
Babies can’t learn language just by overhearing it. They need to participate in back-and-forth exchanges with people who are special to them. The more words they hear—and the more turns they take to coo and babble back—the more their language grows.