One of our readers asked – Should I talk to my baby while breastfeeding? Well, talking to your baby is a great way to maintain a healthy relationship!
Caring and bonding with your newborn within the first few weeks of their birth can have a lasting impact on your baby’s mental, psychological, and social development. After birth, your baby’s brain develops as a result of interactions with their surroundings, especially the sounds of voices they hear. It is interesting to know that a 19-week old fetus responds to sounds outside the womb. The sound he becomes most familiar with is the sound of your voice.
Your newborn baby learns about the outside world first through his sense of touch and hearing. His eyes may not focus intently, and he can see everything only as black, white, or grey. He can see only the objects that are 8 to 15 inches away. He may lack looking and listening coordination, but he is listening to your voice. He can recognize your voice, and to him, it is the best sound!
Should I talk to my baby while breastfeeding?
- When you breastfeed your baby, skin to skin contact fosters good bonding between you and them. He begins to recognize your scent.
- Speaking to your baby calmly and in a happy voice while you breastfeed them assures him/her that s/he is safe, loved, fed, and comforted.
- It is essential to maintain eye contact with your baby while you speak to him softly, as this will help them have good social skills as he grows up.
- A famous study by Edward Tronick, a psychologist, showed how babies feel disturbed and cry if their mothers break eye contact with them.
- Your baby cannot understand what you are saying, but your voice tone is reassuring and comforting to him.
- You can talk about what you are doing, sing songs, tell stories, or indulge in baby talk. So, go ahead and talk about anything to your baby; all they need is to hear the voice they recognize.
- Talking to your baby also gives him a sense of belonging, that he is important, and is well attended to.
How Talking to Your Baby Helps in Development:
- Babies need to hear language before they can start talking. It helps babies build communication skills in the future.
- Your baby will move their body in response to your voice. S/he may adjust their position, try to move closer to your voice, make facial expressions, gurgle, or babble sounds as s/he grows a little older.
- As s/he grows, listening to your voice helps them vocalize what they hear, and this will affect their first attempt to speak.
- When you talk, pause in between and let your baby respond by making little sounds, this will help him learn to listen and communicate. Repeat the sounds and gestures your baby makes to make him understand that his actions matter to you.
- Your baby stores the sounds he hears and slowly learns to associate the sounds with things and emotions. Thus, talking to your baby helps his/her cognitive abilities to develop.