As soon as you hold your baby after birth, you'll begin the bonding process and communicate with her by exchanging your first glances, sounds, and touches. From those first early moments, your newborn is already learning about the world through her senses.
Watch our video to find tips on how to talk to your baby.
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How does my baby communicate?
Your baby is born with the ability to cry, which is the main method she'll use for communicating in the early months. Your baby's cries generally tell you that there's something wrong: an empty tummy, a wet bottom, cold feet, she's tired, or simply that she wants to be held and cuddled. Different cries signal different needs and very quickly you'll learn to recognize which need your baby is expressing and respond accordingly.
Your baby may also cry when she is feeling overwhelmed or overstimulated: crying is one of her ways of shutting out stimuli when she's feeling overloaded.
From the very early days, your baby can differentiate between the sound of your voice and other sounds. She will respond quickly to your voice as she already associates you with food, warmth and touch. She will start to settle when she hears you coming, and she will listen to you when you talk to her.
Sometime during your newborn's first months, you will get a flash of her first smile and perhaps hear her first laugh - both welcome additions to your baby's communication repertoire!
Talk to your baby whenever you have the chance. Even though she won't understand what you're saying, your calm, reassuring voice is what she needs to hear to feel safe. It's all about the tone - so if you feel stuck for things to say, or feel self-conscious chatting with a newborn, try reading a book (it doesn't matter which one!) and try to adopt the tone you'd use reading a picture book to a pre-schooler.
Follow your baby's communication development
Newborn to 3 months
3-6 month old babies
6-9 months old babies
9-12 month old babies
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