As you read aloud, point to pictures, tell the baby about the duck in the book, your baby learns from those everyday conversations with you. Your conversations build much more than words: They build knowledge, confidence and help you bond. We now know that children who experience ‘better’, richer conversations get an early head start.

Do I need to talk all the time with my baby?

No. The advice often given to parents is that talking more is better. That is generally true but babies learn best if your conversations have a high quality, not ‘just’ a lot of words.

Babies learn best in high quality conversations! A high quality has two sides: How much you talk and also how you talk.

How much you talk matters. The sheer number of words you say on a regular basis when engaging with the baby matters.

Why are more words generally better? The answer is simple math. More words give the baby more opportunities to learn about her language, to practice and to get efficient faster. This does not mean that talking 24/7 is ideal. It is not, quite the contrary. Babies want to chime in, which means that you stop talking, tune in, and respond to what your baby just did or said. Including the baby in the conversation best starts right from birth. Babies also need lots of downtime and rest which is another reason not to talk 24/7. Did you know that when babies sleep, they actually learn?

How you talk matters. The quality of words matters just as much, if not more.

Listen why the quality of words may be more important than the sheer number:

High quality talk is when you fill everyday routines with words and narrate what’s going on around the baby, what you do, the baby does; when you talk in Baby Talk (Parentese); when you tune in and follow what the baby is interested in rather than what you want to show and tell her about; when you engage in singing, reading, pretend play, such as when you make a phone call with a toy banana; or when you sound out and trace letters once your baby is interested in print. You can turn everyday conversations into high-quality learning experiences by simple tweaks and actions and often your baby actively seeks out what she wants to learn anyways.

How to enrich your interactions, check out our Smart Reports, Communication Tips, Videos from the Experts, and my book ‘Raising A Talker: Easy Activities for Birth to 3’. Or, download daily communication tips from Vroom.

Learn about the benefits of Babytalk or Parentese and how this clear speech helps babies learn.