Communication is undeniably one major area most parents always struggle with when dealing with newborns. Do you remember the first thing that happened when little bub came out of the womb? He cried!
From the moment of conception, babies begin to communicate even though it's in a language that's pretty difficult to figure out.
Then come the beautiful smiles and gurgles amidst the diaper changes and non-stop feeding and soothing. All the while, the baby is hoping you will talk right back or at least respond when it's play time.
Unfortunately, it's always a struggle trying to keep up with the flurry of changes especially if you are a new parent. As your pumpkin's communication becomes more interactive with each passing day, you can easily get blown away by how to respond without looking like an alien to the tiny tot.
Fortunately, there are many ways to "baby talk" right back between the wails and squeals. But then, you want to stick with those ones that will contribute to your child's development.
Various ways babies communicate.
All babies generally communicate by crying, especially at the early stages. But then, this could mean a lot of things.
Babies cry when they are hungry; they cry when they pee; they cry when their feet are chilly; they cry when they feel tired; they cry when they want to be cuddled...they cry virtually for everything. This is why it's so hard to tell exactly what they want!
But then, little bubs cry should always tell you that something is wrong. It is now left to you to find out what it is.
While "soothing is often the first line of approach", it is your ability to properly respond to your baby’s needs that strengthen the bond you share. But then this doesn't happen overnight otherwise you wouldn't be here. Most parents find it frustrating dealing with a crying baby, especially those with no previous experience.
Although, I have gone beyond my "glory days", my experience with six kids is worthwhile. So you can bank on the knowledge I will be sharing here.
It doesn't matter whether you've been a babysitter all your life or you've just had your first issue, the ideas below will make all the difference between being a confused woman and a mother who knows how to respond to her child's every need.
With this in mind, let's quickly consider 10 ways you can easily tickle your little bundle of joy and establish a lasting bond between you two.
Bonding starts with spending time together
There can never be any bonding without closeness. So the first step towards creating a strong lasting bond with your little pumpkin is to spend a lot of time together.
To make it worthwhile, sometimes, let him determine the kind of activity you will be doing. Notice whether he loves watching MTV and dedicate a good time watching it with him every day.
If he likes looking at the colorful pictures on the pages of a book, then consider spending an hour doing it with him every day. The more you spend such special times for with your kid, the more you will come to understand him.
Learn to talk and listen
Like seriously, talking to a new-born initially is like talking to a foreigner- you know he doesn't understand you, neither do you understand him. But you just keep on talking like you don't have a choice.
Although it might not be obvious, talking and listening to kids especially during infancy helps to develop their verbal communication ability. This is crucial because their brain is usually in the development stage and as such is easily aroused by the closest vocal and optical stimulants.
This is why most kids get more attracted to their mothers than anyone else; because it's the voice they quickly get used to. So, learn how to talk and listen to your baby, even though the latter might seem pointless. You will eventually start solving the puzzle...Just do your part and keep talking.
If possible, talk throughout the day-the more you do it, the better it gets. When engaged in peculiar activities like the laundry, dishes, cooking, feeding, dressing and the likes, make sure your baby is close by and try talking to him at every little chance you get.
Maximize bath time by talking and singing to him. The song and the warm water will soothe him and make him feel more relaxed and settled around you.
Trust me; it won't take long before he starts responding in his own funny way. More importantly, he will be able to learn the language of cleaning before anything else which is cool if you ask me.
Smile very often
Behind every happy tot is a smiling momma.
Smiling is one powerful way to help your child grow in an atmosphere of love. But more importantly, it also helps to solidify the bond between the two of you.
Even at infancy, kids are attracted to faces, especially the one they see more often. They tend to focus more on faces that are either smiling or frowning. But if I were you, I would rather smile all the time.
Although it is not always easy to deal with newborns, I would advise you to be patient, because that is essentially what makes you a mother. Don't ever get tired of giving them all the attention and love they need. And smiling is undoubtedly a good way to show you care.
So try to smile especially when the child is gurgling, cooing, or trying to mince "baby words". It's even more fun when he laughs. Smiling back will allow you share in the fun. Over time, you will start decoding his facial expressions, but this requires a lot of attention.
Another good reason to smile often is because babies tend to easily imitate facial expressions. I can't tell you how much joy I felt whenever I see the toothless grin on the faces of my kids. It's always a beautiful sight and I can tell it's a sign they are happy with momma.
Become a copycat
Like I indicated earlier, it's very important to make your baby-talk a two-way thing. Even as adults, we don't like it when we are doing all the talking and the other person is just there looking like a zombie.
So, it's very important to listen to your kids and respond back even if you don’t understand the message being relayed. A good way to respond well is to mimic him. Try imitating whatever he's saying--"daa-daa", "mo..mom", --and let him know he's not alone in whatever he's feeling. Copy his gestures too. Smile when he smiles, and frown when he frowns.
By so doing, your baby will come to learn that communication is a give-and-take process.
Introduce a lot of colorful books
Though it sounds ridiculous, babies too do fancy books. If you're waiting for them to tell you, then you're going to be waiting for long. But mind you, they don't just fancy books as "books", instead they are just like any other play stuff. However, books serve as more than just play materials.
Reading a short simple story together is one way you can inculcate the habit of reading in the little bub when he eventually grows up. To make it more fun and interactive, try going for books with colorful images and a lot of repeated words. A nice turtle story will do- try to get lots of it.
And make sure you stick to short tales. Babies also get bored, so you don't want to read Shakespeare because it won't do them any good. If you ask me, I would say "touch and feel" books are great; I have a lot of them and I can tell my kids love them so much. In fact, they all grew up to cherish storytelling time.
Play cool games
Games are not only meant for older kids and young adults. Babies too want to share in the fun, although quite differently.
Playing with toys is undeniably one thing all babies love to do. In fact, if you don't get them a normal toy, they won't hesitate to turn whatever they can lay hold into a nice yummy toy. It could be your hair comb, your smartphone, the TV remote, or even.... And guess where it may likely end up? Inside their mouth!
Therefore, in addition to the need to have toys for playing, it is also important you provide your baby with proper toys.
Initially, I thought toys were only there to serve as a distraction but I soon discovered it does more than just that. In addition to being good play tools, toys also help to engage your baby. Communication improves when there is a lot of it going on, and trust me, there are no better dummies to make your child more interactive.
Another cool way you can engage your bundle is in front of the mirror. Just place a large mirror in front of him and watch him stare at the baby in the other end. Monitor how he reacts. This served as one of the happy moments for my fourth child and am sure it would serve as something for yours too.
Peek-a-boo is another nice game you can try out. Personally, I believe there are endless possibilities to the games you can play with your little bundle of joy. It all depends on how creative you are.
Meanwhile, the ones I have mentioned so far are good to start with.