How To Communicate With Your Fetus And Newborn You Need To Know
From connecting without words to serenading with a song, we explain all the ways you can talk to your baby…
But in reality, you begin communicating with your baby even before birth, through a huge variety of non-verbal methods and without the need for speech.
Your eyes, your actions, your touch and even the songs you play to your little one can tell him everything he needs to know. Similarly, by learning to read your baby’s body language and cues, you will discover he is quite a chatty little person, long before he has the power of speech!
Babies need to feel understood, and it is vital that their ways of expressing their needs and emotions are recognised. “Start by looking at his non-verbal cues” says Vivien Sabel, psychotherapist and author of baby communication book . “By noticing his patterns, you can try to meet his needs before he reaches the crying stage.”
Once you’ve recognised that a protruding tongue means he is hungry, and that smiling eyes indicate contentment, they want to breastfeed.
Even before he was born, your baby could hear the world around him. In fact, around five weeks before birth, his cochlea – the part of the ear that converts sounds into electrical messages for the brain – had become sufficiently developed to perceive the sounds of speech. This means you can establish communication and a bond with him while he is still in the ᴡᴏᴍʙ.
“I don’t think I ever shut up during pregnancy – I was always talking to my ʙᴜᴍᴘ, and this carried on after
he arrived,” Vivien says. “Your baby can hear your ʜᴇᴀʀᴛʙᴇᴀᴛ – a really familiar, and therefore comforting, sound from his time in the ᴡᴏᴍʙ.”
Gestures have always been a key part of human communication and, as your baby’s motor skills develop faster than his speech, he will naturally adopt physical signs like pointing, waving and raising his .
All adults know the power music can play in expressing emotions, triggering memories and altering our mood – and it’s exactly the same for your child. In fact, ʀᴇsᴇᴀʀᴄʜ has shown that babies can remember melodies heard in the ᴡᴏᴍʙ even a month after they were born.
Try playing different types of music at different stages in the day, such as upbeat melodies in the morning and nursery rhymes at play time, and sing along to them if you can. “He will be able to recall them and will begin to associate certain melodies with certain moods, like relaxation or sleep,” says Caroline. “It doesn’t matter if you can’t sing or you are a bit out of tune, your baby won’t mind one bit!”
Try reading to your baby instead. It doesn’t matter if he can’t understand the words yet – the calming sound of your voice and the focus of your attention is enough. And starting storytime early in your child’s development brings numerous benefits, because it gives him the opportunity to bond with the whole family, as well as firmly establishing a bedtime routine.