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It can feel strange talking to your infant who is incapable of carrying on a conversation or even showing you that he comprehends what you're saying. However, speaking to your baby is beneficial to his development — and also strengthens the relationship you have with your little one.
Babies born prematurely may benefit from people talking to them while they are still in the hospital's intensive care unit, suggests a new study.
Researchers found that premature babies who were exposed to more talking from adults, such as their parents, in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), tended to score higher on development tests later on.
“This is certainly a remarkable, easy-to-implement and cost-effective intervention of informing moms of visiting their children in the intensive care unit,” Dr. Betty Vohr said.
Vohr is the study's senior author from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island.
She and her colleagues write in the journal Pediatrics that a baby still in the womb is exposed to its mother's voice, but a baby born very prematurely is kept in a NICU, where it is exposed to noises from monitors and machines but little talk.
Previous research has found that …
Talking to your baby gives him a good start on language development. Start by talking with him every time you carry out any routine caring tasks. As you pick him up from the crib, tell him, “I am picking you up, lovey. Then we will get a diaper change and make you all comfy. Then mama will nurse you.” As you keep on talking and explaining to your tiny baby, a miracle will occur. Baby will learn from the cadences and tones of your voice that you keep your promises. You are someone he can trust. Soon, he will not fuss to nurse immediately, but will learn to wait a bit until he is dry and clean again. Your talking teaches baby the power of words. This begins the process of intimate attachment and builds a trusting relationship.