Talking to Your Baby:
• Strengthens family bonds and improves communication
• Increases baby’s understanding of words and what they mean
• Increases spoken vocabulary at two years of age
• Gives stronger grounding to learn to read
• Gives children an opportunity to reach their potential in school
And in the Right Way……….
• Parents need to speak gently, slowly and in a singing pattern
• Parents can talk to babies as part of their daily routine
• Parents should repeat the same words often
When a parent talks to and smiles at their baby, the baby babbles and smiles back – everyone wins!
The more words spoken to a baby in the first year of her life, the better her understanding of language. It supports her ability to learn to speak, eventually read - and helps her do better in school. Children in Crossfire strongly believes that investment in the development and education of babies and children today will mean a sustainable Tanzania tomorrow.
Talking to your baby is free. But conveying the message to families in Tanzania is not free - which is why we need your help.
Children in Crossfire is funding the training of parents and their babies. During three separate two-hour training sessions, mothers and fathers are taught:
• How babies and their brains develop
• How important it is to stimulate babies
• How to engage and play with them
• How to speak to them in the right way
• The importance of eye contact
• The importance of getting on the floor so that they are at the same level as their babies
• How to make toys like rattles out of plastic bottles.
(Photo of Mama Bili and children – Caption: Baby David, Ion and Mama Bili)
Mama Bili loves her children. Although she is living in poverty and has little education herself, she values it. Until recently, she did not know how important it is to talk to babies from birth. So when her baby, Ion, started making sounds, Mama didn’t realise the benefits of responding. By the time he was eight months old, Ion became silent again. Now, at two and a half years old, he has a limited vocabulary for his age.
Last November, Mama gave birth to David. She learned about the Children in Crossfire funded ‘Talk to Your Baby’ project and followed the leaflet. That is all she needed! Mama talks to David in a loving way. She discovered very quickly that he adores it – and Mama is enjoying her time with her young baby more than she ever thought possible.
Talking to David has also strengthened the bond between him and his mum. International research suggests that, when David goes to school, he will learn to read and write more easily than his older brother, Ion.
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