Be sure to use your voice -- narrate what you’re doing with him, sing songs, or read aloud. You can sing children’s songs and read board books, or belt out your favorite pop song and read the Washington Post aloud. At this stage, it is about the sound, not the content, of your speech. Check out this amazing Ted talk to learn more about how infants learn language and why it's important to speak to them from a young age.
At about six weeks, your baby will be able to engage with you more. He will make longer eye contact, verbalize, or even smile intentionally! Though it may only last 10 minutes at a time, this quiet and active state is a great time to engage in “conversation.” This is the time when he learns about human speech patterns and facial expressions.
You can overstimulate newborns. Providing too much play can leave your baby “wired” and too wound up to sleep or settle down to feed. So if your baby resists engaging with you, leave it for another time. There’s no rush, and you’re not missing your chance.
You can also take advantage of the many opportunities for young babies in our region. Sometimes getting out of the house and having a structured activity is as useful (or more!) to the parent than the baby. We love the activities and classes and Lemon Tree Playgroup in DC.