Core idea 23
Your baby will communicate
Babies communicate even though they cannot talk. Communication involves information and influence. Vocalizations like crying and cooing communicate a baby’s experience to caregivers. A baby who begins to wave her arms when daddy comes into her room is communicating. A baby whose body stiffens when picked up by someone who dislikes infants communicates.
One of the challenges we have as parents is to learn this language. Because babies don’t understand our words, we are challenged to learn to communicate in ways that make sense to them. So we shake our heads “no” and “yes.” We clap our hands and smile to convey pleasure and joy. For more information about infant communication take a look at Baby Talk: A Guide to Using Basic Sign Language to Communicate with Your Baby (opens in a new browser window) by Monica Beyer.
Children learn language by having parents talk with them. The child is not going to understand what you say, but your tone of voice and body will convey your primary message.