How to Use Infant Directed Speech to Help Babies Learn a Language
Infant Directed Speech (IDS) is a way in which parents need to speak with their children. What this means is that each word that we speak needs to be pronounced slowly, and the vowel sounds needs to be exaggerated. This is also referred to as motherese.
Basically, you are using IDS when any language is spoken in a rhythmic or melodious manner. For example, when you wish your baby good morning, if you say “gooood morrniiiinng, my baaabyyy”, you are using IDS. What IDS isn’t is if you speak in a language which is only known to you and no one else, for example “Goocchyy meeeoow baaaby” instead of good morning.
Why Do We Need To Use This Infant Directed Speech?
Your baby is new to this world: everything is different for him, and so is language. It is extremely crucial to ensure that your baby understands what is happening around him. So you speak slowly so that your baby can grasp. You speak in a melodious tone so that language seems interesting to your child. Children have a natural inclination towards music and hence talking in the IDS way helps your baby learn better and faster.
Ways Of Using Infant Directed Speech With Your Child
1. Use short sentences
Using short sentences helps your baby to connect with you and the words easily. Especially during growing up years, it is important that you speak to your baby slowly, and in short sentences.
2. Elongate Vowels
When you speak, elongate each vowel in the word. While you are elongating the vowel, each word is getting registered in your baby’s mind.
3. Intonate Well
Good music and nice rhythm is something that attracts all babies. They are more interested in what you say when you are speaking in a melodious tone and are intonating well. That’s the reason why all nursery rhymes are in the form of a song. Psychologists and researchers have proved that babies and children learn faster and their memory becomes stronger when they get information in a melodious way.
Smiling establishes an instant connection with your baby. While you are using all the above tips like using short sentences, focusing on vowel sounds, intonating and speaking in a rhythmic tone, it will all have no effect unless you do not smile. Your baby may just turn away his head if you are not smiling while speaking.
5. Happy Tone
While you are singing a rhyme, sharing a story or talking to your baby, it is very important that your tone is happy and cheerful. If you speak in a sad or monotonous voice, your baby will not be interested in listening to what you have to say. So always sound cheerful and if you are not in a mood on a particular day, then do not try to involve your baby in any kind of activity.
There are multiple benefits of speaking with your baby using an infant directed speech. Better language skills, brain development and social skills are just starters. So don’t forget to connect with your baby multiple times a day using infant directed speech.