When someone is interacting with a young infant, whether it be the parent of said infant or a close family member or friend, it is often instinctual to “talk” to them – or rather talk at them, particularly while using a cute baby-like voice. While this may just seem like a nice way to connect with your baby socially and emotionally, there is much more to it than that. There is almost a universal consensus that talking to your baby, even when they cannot yet fully talk back to you, is critical to helping them to develop their brains and succeed in school.
The brains of babies are known to triple in size over their first few years of life, and much of that brain development comes through the interaction between the baby and the world around them. And while a baby can obviously interact with inanimate objects that make up said world, those interactions pale in comparison to interacting with another human being in a meaningful way.
And it doesn’t just stop at talking to your baby. Any sort of interaction that you can create with your baby will help them to learn more about the world and develop their brains. That is why another common thing to do is to read to your baby, or to sing to them as well. Even if they have no clue what you are talking, reading or singing about, they will still be growing, and learning. The more words you use in front of your child, the better off they will be in the long run!
As a single mother, there is nothing stressful than wondering whether your young child will grow up to be not just healthy, but intelligent as well. Ensuring that their child grows up healthy is often the main concern that most parents focus on, but ensuring that their child grows up with maximized brain development is arguably more important, if only because the way that a child’s brain is developed after those first few years is permanent and will affect the rest of their lives, particularly their younger years going through school.
So even if you are struggling to pay the bills and coming home late every night from work, always make a concerted effort to talk, read and sing to your baby whenever you can. And if you really can’t do that, then make sure that your nanny or whoever is taking care of your child takes on that role for you. It might not seem like it’ll make a difference right now, but trust me when I say that it is probably the most important thing you’ll ever do for your precious child in the long term!