While pregnant you may find yourself chatting to your growing bump, maybe even singing. Have you considered reading to your bump?
My mother had told me that I should talk to my baby, just chat away...describe what you are doing or seeing, or hearing...sing songs...this is how baby will learn to speak. The important aspect of all this is your voice. The rhythms and patterns of your daily chatter, and singing, contribute to your baby's language development.
In addition to chatter and song, you can read to your baby. This has the added benefit of being a relaxing and bonding time.
It seems that this process begins before birth.
I enjoyed the never-alone feeling of pregnancy. I loved the times I could go inward and communicate with my baby. It was the only time my baby was mine, and mine alone. After birth, the baby became an individual, a part of a family and open to communication with others.
Research suggests that baby's learn in the womb, that the human foetal brain development is influenced by the voice of the mother. It seems that our Big Brains are primed for this interaction, and it is proposed the timing of our birth is connected to this need for brain development. We are cultural beings, and language is at the core of this.
So just as with reading to your child, the act of reading to your unborn baby is relaxing, helps with your bonding and with language development. It can help ease the odd feeling of talking to yourself, and adds a level of rhythm and interest that you can continue once your baby is born.
Choose picture books that you will delight in reading to your baby after birth. There are so many wonderful books, with beautiful pictures and poetic words. Others have funny pictures, with lots to explore (the Roland Harvey books come to mind). Dr Suess books will exercise your brain and tongue, Jackie French and Mem Fox will bring Australia into your heart.
If you are familiar with storytime on my youtube channel, you will find a few that my family enjoy. Perhaps you have a favourite you would like to see read for the channel?
Selected Articles by Catherine
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birth without fear
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