Creating a Home Environment

Play the baby CD often but remember that baby needs to hear your voice singing too. Papousek has shown in his research that early music interaction between parent and baby can enhance the development of the infant’s communication and perception skills. Babies may not understand the words that you sing to them, but they will be able to absorb them. Baby will “catch” your enjoyment of the music and will soon respond with smiles, cooing sounds, and enthusiastic arm and leg movement.

Parents should talk, hum and sing to baby while changing diapers, bathing, dressing or feeding them. If you repeat your favourite rhymes and songs from the baby recording, they will soon become your baby’s favourites as well.

It is never too early to start reading aloud. Your infant or toddler will respond eagerly to the comfort of a familiar lap, and the words of first books. Choose books that you will enjoy reading. Babies love bright colors and clear uncluttered illustrations. Hold your baby so he/she can focus on the page. Point to pictures as you read, sometimes following the text with your finger. If baby is grabbing at the books, give him/her a soft toy while listening. Keep the reading time short at first. Lengthen it as your baby is ready for more. Reading aloud to your baby will contribute to eventual success in reading.

Taken from Suzuki Early Childhood-Prenatal through Early Years: Stage One, used with permission from Dorothy Jones & Jones Partnership.