Talk With Me Baby Professional Development Coordinator
Alabama is known for lots of things; Auburn and Alabama football, tailgating, hot, humid summers and our Southern hospitality. Wouldn’t it be great if we also became known as a state that successfully embraced the power of early language and literacy? It’s an exciting time in our state with an increased interest in young children and their emotional, physical, and mental health, with an added emphasis on brain development. Many initiatives exist that are making great strides in improving the health and wellness of children.
To assist in that effort, Alabama Partnership for Children is excited about a new program designed to promote babies brain development by building their language skills. We have partnered with the Georgia Department of Public Health to offer Talk With Me Baby in our state.
Research tells us that the more words a baby hears during the early years of life, the faster they learn to read and write. The basic focus of Talk With Me Baby is to participate in intentional conversations with babies and children. Even a 2-week-old child is communicating with you when he cries to get your attention in order to address his basic needs. The coos and babbling you hear from an infant provide opportunities for a back-and-forth exchange, and lay the foundation for language development.
Talking, reading, playing, singing, and the daily routines of life provide the optimal time to engage in conversation. Look for conversational opportunities throughout the day to talk with your child, such as in the car, on a walk, at the park, at the grocery store, at the doctor, during meal time, during bath time, and at bedtime. You will be building their brain through early talk.
As Donald Woods Winnecott said, "There is no such thing as a baby; there is a baby and someone else." Whether you are a parent, a grandparent, or a child care provider, you can be that “someone else” who finds those everyday moments to build a baby’s brain.
Click here to find out more about the Talk With Me Baby program in Alabama, and to link to resources on the national Talk With Me Baby website.