Singing Baby

Singing Baby

The Process of Learning To Talk

I love having conversations with my four-month-old daughter, even though our conversations don't have any actual words in them.

 

Of course, I do talk to her using actual words, but she can't respond to me in the same way so that's not really a conversation. When she's in the mood to have a conversation, a back-and-forth social exchange, she gives me a big smile and then sings a single note.

I reply with a note of my own, usually in broad imitation of the sound she just made but often with some kind of variation like a second note at the end. She replies with a similar sound and waves her arms and legs around in excitement. We can go back and forth like that for quite a while, singing and smiling at each other. It's a nice little interlude, and seeing her have so much fun just interacting with her dad like that is a great antidote to baby stress. When I'm carrying her around and around in a vain attempt to calm her down, while she screams and screams because she wants her mom, I just think about those little conversations of ours.

 

Before long, they'll change. She'll stop doing the musical little notes (most people call it “cooing”) and she'll start to babble nonsense syllables, sometimes in patterns mimicking the up and down rhythms of real language. So we'll get to continue our conversations, but the method will change. I'm looking forward to that stage too, but I'll enjoy this one for now!