Advice Column, Baby, Pregnancy & Baby

BOOST YOUR BABY’S BRAIN WITH BABY TALK

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  • Category Advice Column, Baby, Pregnancy & Baby

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality healthcare, explores how ‘Baby Talk’, also known as parentese, might sound silly to adults. Still, it has many benefits for your little one.

As a new parent, you may talk to your baby in a high-pitched, sing-song voice, using words you wouldn’t usually use in everyday conversation.

This is known as “baby talk,” and while it may sound silly to some, research suggests that it can positively impact your baby’s brain development.

Studies have shown that babies exposed to more baby talk have larger vocabularies and more vital language skills later in life.

In fact, talking to your baby in a nurturing, engaging way can actually help to shape the architecture of their brain, building meaningful connections between neurons and setting the foundation for lifelong learning and development.

One of the ways that baby talk helps with brain development is by providing babies with a steady stream of language input.

Babies are born with the ability to recognise and distinguish between sounds from all languages, but their brains are wired to respond more to the language(s) that they hear most frequently.

By talking to your baby in a rich, engaging way, you are helping expose them to various sounds and words, which can help strengthen their language skills.

So, how can you incorporate more baby talk into your daily routine?

Here are a few tips from Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health, to get you started:

Narrate Your Day

As you go about your daily tasks, describe what you’re doing to your baby. For example, “Mommy is washing the dishes now. See how the bubbles make them all shiny and clean?” This helps to expose your baby to new words and concepts and helps them to understand the world around them.

Use Exaggerated Expressions

When talking to your baby, use exaggerated facial expressions and gestures to help them better understand the meaning behind your words. For example, if you say “peek-a-boo!” while covering your face with your hands, your baby will understand that you’re playing a game.

Repeat And Expand

If your baby coos or babbles, repeat the sounds back to them and expand on them. If your baby says “ba,” you could respond, “Yes, that’s right, that’s a ball! Look how it bounces!” This helps reinforce the sounds your baby is making and expose them to new words.

Sing Songs And Recite Nursery Rhymes

Singing and reciting nursery rhymes are great ways to engage with your baby and expose them to new words and sounds. Babies love the rhythm and repetition of songs and rhymes; they are a great way to help build your baby’s vocabulary.

Read Books

Even though your baby may not understand the words, reading books can help them develop a love for language and storytelling. Choose books with bright, colourful pictures and simple words, and point out the images as you read.

“It’s important to remember that baby talk isn’t just about using a high-pitched voice or babyish words. It’s about engaging with your baby meaningfully and creating a nurturing environment that supports their learning and development,” says Murray.

In addition to baby talk, there are other ways to support your baby’s brain development, such as providing plenty of sensory experiences, encouraging exploration and play, and fostering a loving and supportive environment.

So, don’t be afraid to break out the baby talk and engage with your little one in a fun and meaningful way. Your baby’s brain will thank you for it! You can set your baby up for a lifetime of learning and success with consistent engagement and a positive, nurturing environment.


About Affinity Junior

At Affinity Health, we know that the growth and development of your child is of utmost importance. With Affinity Junior, you can get Day-to-Day and Hospital cover for your children.

Affinity Junior provides affordable healthcare for your children – keeping the most important people in your life healthy and happy! Affinity Junior will provide your children unlimited, managed doctor consultations, medication, and hospitalisation, depending on the chosen plan.

The unique feature of the Affinity Junior plan is that the policy insures only your children. For more on Affinity Junior, click here.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading health insurance provider, offering you a range of options, including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of medical insurance that meets your needs, budget, and lifestyle. Our healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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