MEMPHIS, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- There's nothing more heart warming than the sound of a newborn baby's giggles and coos.
Memphis based early childhood development specialist Dr. Vonda Scipio says those cute sounds actually have a serious purpose. They represent a child's earliest attempts to connect with the people around them.
Dr. Scipio works directly with parents and their newborns helping them get off to a good start. In a new book entitled “Let Baby Teach: Learning Child Development through Observing Infants and Toddlers” she explains how even the smallest infants are working to understand what’s going on around them.
“A child doesn’t start learning at three years old or five years old. They begin learning when they come into the world.”
Dr. Scipio says if you want your child to be well-adjusted and succeed academically, you need to understand and react to their initial attempts to communicate. All of those coos, giggles, glances and cries mean something. She says you need to totally engage with your newborn.
“Where you’re making eye contact, you’re talking. If they’re not using all of their words yet you match some of their coos and some of their babble.”
Two examples of Dr. Scipio's advice: Avoid talking over top of your child’s babbles and coos and also remember to give them a few extra seconds to respond to your words or expressions.
So what does she say happens if you don’t respond to your baby’s efforts to connect with you?
“(It) causes a disconnect in the parent child relationship and makes the baby feel insecure, and as such they grow up with those insecurities.”
You can find Dr. Scipio’s book at Amazon and other online retailers.