Babies naturally attach to their caregivers. Attachment happens in response to the babies' needs being taken care of. They get to know the voices and faces of the adults who care for them. Parents and caregivers may encourage social and emotional development in infants with simple games, music and interaction with the babies.
Babbling is a sign of normal infant development. Babies "talk" by repeating sounds with different consonants, such as "ba ba ba" and "ma ma ma." Experts at the Center for Early Literacy Learning encourage parents to sit with their babies face to face, and repeat babbling sounds. Parents may also ask the baby questions, such as "how are you?" and "can you say hello to me?" The question itself does not matter; the engagement and interaction fosters both attachment and early vocal communication.
Lap Games and Songs
Babies typically love music. Singing to your baby encourages attachment, communication and even literacy. Hold your baby on your lap and sing a short song, such as "The Noble Duke of York," or any song you are familiar with. Bounce the baby gently to the beat while you look in her eyes and sing. When she looks back at you, smiles and laughs or coos, you know she is enjoying the game and enjoying the social interaction.
Your baby is never too young to enjoy a story. Hold baby on your lap or lie down on the rug next to him. Soft plastic or cloth baby books are better than board books at this young age because baby can hurt himself with a heavy board book. Look at the bright pictures together and say words on the page. Follow your child's lead as to how long to spend on each page. The back and forth interaction encourages both attachment and early literacy.
Finger plays are short, repetitive finger and hand motions performed to song. A good example is "The Itsy Bitsy Spider." Babies usually look forward to mom or dad singing a favorite finger play, and will coo and giggle in response. Watch your baby to learn which finger play she enjoys the most. Finger plays teach babies that social interaction is fun.
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