Babies are “wired” to selectively attend and respond to the human face.
Why do it?
- Baby will like gazing at faces and watching how your mouth moves while you talk.
- Baby is learning to match sound and mouth shape.
- Baby may try to copy your mouth and make a sound.
- Baby can learn to take turns making sounds with you. This is the start of having a conversation.
How to do it
- Make sure baby is fed, comfortable and ready for some social time before starting the activity.
- Hold or place baby so their face and your face are about 30 cm apart.
- Use ‘parentese’ when you talk to baby (speak more slowly, exaggerate your mouth and eye movements and speak in a higher pitch).
- Pause and keep looking at baby, as though you are inviting them to reply.
- Make another comment and wait for them to respond.
- If baby makes a sound, try copying them.
- Watch closely for any sign that baby needs a break.