Online Bookings Now Available Book Now

Communicating with Babies

by Safe Sleep Space April 16, 2015 1 Comment

Communicating with Babies

As adults we have the social skill, on a good day, to indulge in polite, superficial conversation, initially. But what of a baby; how do they manage greetings, social ‘niceties’ and conversations? Some adults are more comfortable with this level of communication than others, which is governed by experience, personality and even culture.

In some cultures social conversation is direct and to the point, we may even consider it as blunt, but it is the expected means of communication, no wasted words.  So what do we model to and teach our babies?

Next time you meet someone with a baby, or if you are someone with the baby, take a moment to think about what we ask of babies when they meet a new or only barely familiar person. Do you smile into the baby’s face at close range and expect them to respond? Think about how we sometimes jiggle or bounce babies or even poke at their face, to illicit a ‘desired’ response. The response adults like to see; that beautiful baby smile, and sometimes we will do anything to get it. Admittedly it is heart melting, but wouldn’t you prefer to see how a baby would respond if they were given the time and space to just be themselves without vigorous prompting?

Next time you communicate with a baby, say hi, and take a moment to allow them to communicate back to you, naturally, not forced. Allow the two way component of the communication to flow, back and forth. Allow the baby to take a moment to just look at you, this alone can be just as powerful as that smile if you allow it to be. As the adult we need to remember what we are asking of babies at the moment when they meet a stranger or barely familiar person. Momentarily check to see if the communication is two way or are we pushing for OUR desired response FROM rather than WITH the baby. Do we want to say hello to this tiny individual, or is it to make them smile, so we feel good?

When you next greet a baby, take the time to say hi in a calm, pleasant way, and then wait … wait for them to respond.

Babies have slower transmission of nerve impulses, which presents as a small lag time when they respond, so just be still and wait.

Once the baby processes the information, then they can genuinely respond. So now, what do you see?  Sometimes a baby will look at you quizzically, for a long time and that is perfectly okay, they just don’t have to smile at everyone. Do you look into a baby’s eyes and take the time to gently connect, or do you glance at them and spend the rest of the time trying to make them smile, so you feel satisfied?  

Some food for thought for next time you want to ‘connect’ with a baby, because true communication is a two way event.




Safe Sleep Space
Safe Sleep Space

Author


1 Response

MARINA
MARINA

April 01, 2017

I had read the article, absolutely true! yes, babies can response adults communication. I do work with babies and I do communicate with some of them on my daily practices. From my experience I can say that it is amazing the response you get from them. Babies start to recognize your voice your face, even your shade!…. “Eye contact” its very important to feel connected with the baby, it takes a time and it needs consistency. The perfect time to practice this communication is before changing routines whether is sleep, nappy change or time to feed them, talk with the baby what is going to happen next…you’ll be amazed! Thanks for this article!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Blog

What is a Dream Feed and When Should I Introduce One?
What is a Dream Feed and When Should I Introduce One?

by Safe Sleep Space July 19, 2019

A dream feed is a rather lovely term for feeding a baby when they’re asleep. Lots of parents say that offering their baby a dream feed works really well, others feel it’s a waste of time. Some babies suck very well when they’re sleepy and others don’t.

 

Continue Reading

Holidays – How to Get Your Baby Back into Their Sleep Routine
Holidays – How to Get Your Baby Back into Their Sleep Routine

by Safe Sleep Space June 20, 2019

Rule number one on holidays with a baby is that the usual daily routines go by the wayside. And rule number two is the gnawing sensation that when the holidays are over, you’ll all have to get back into the grind of everyday life.  Read on to learn what you can do to encourage your baby to go back to their usual sleep routine.

Continue Reading

Why is Infant Mental Health so Important When it Comes to Sleep?
Why is Infant Mental Health so Important When it Comes to Sleep?

by Safe Sleep Space May 22, 2019

One of the most important things we can do for our children is to support their sense of security. From a secure base, children are able to do what they need to do –   play, thrive, learn and grow. When they don’t feel safe, much of their behaviour is driven from fear and a sense of anxiety. 

Continue Reading