Week Twenty Six
Imitating speech sounds
More and more, your baby will be making speech-like sounds. At this age, she will be an expert at mimicking speech patterns and variations of tone. She'll love to have 'conversations' with the adults in her life - where you wait for a pause in her babble so that you can 'answer' her. She will really begin in earnest experimenting with the sounds she can make - you can encourage her to do this by copying the sounds that she makes. She'll think this is a wonderful game and you'll be amazed by her range of sounds. Reading with your baby at this age will also expose her to a range of tones and sounds that she may not ordinarily hear.
Find more tips to encourage your baby's communication skills
Reading with your baby
While everyone agrees there are great benefits if you start reading to your baby each day from an early age, many parents feel unsure about what they should be reading, how long they should be reading, and when to start.
All children enjoy the together-time that reading with a parent brings, and babies are no different. While you may feel uncomfortable reading to a three-day old baby, she'll certainly enjoy being cuddled and listening to your 'reading' voice. You can even read the newspaper or your book to her! Try to read with your baby every day - you may like to make it part of her bed-time routine - and you don't have to make it long, perhaps 5-10 minutes each time.
For the first couple of months at least, it doesn't matter what you read - it's all about your tone of voice and she won't be interested in looking at the pictures, either. But by about four months old, she'll pay more attention so you need to choose books that are made for babies to grab (before long she'll be wrestling them out of your hands!) and which have bright illustrations for her to enjoy.
Discover our top tips on reading with your baby
Best books for your baby
At this age, the best books for babies are those with bright illustrations or photographs with a small number of words. Your baby can't concentrate long enough for you to get through an involving plot-line, (or any storyline at all!) so choose books with simple text. He will enjoy books that have pictures of everyday objects that you can point out and name. It's best to invest in board books at this age, because he won't have the dexterity to manage paper pages without ripping them. Books at this stage have to be tough to survive!
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Find more about your baby’s week by week development
This article was written by Linda Drummond for Kidspot.com.au and has been adapted for Kidspot.co.nz