Wednesday, April 27, 2005


How much are you supposed to talk to a baby? When people come over to see Jonathan, I’ve noticed that they usually keep up a steady babble of commentary directed toward him (and usually in a voice much higher than normal). Of course, they’re only here for a few minutes, or maybe an hour at most. Could they keep up such a running stream of words if they cared for him for all the hours in the day? And is that important? It seems like talking to Jonathan is really important – after all, he’s learning about language and his world and how much he is loved from me, for most hours of the day. Yet I find that I just run out of words. What do you talk to a two-week-old about? I’m often simply at a loss. I sing him songs, and play good classical music for him, and sometimes we dance, and sometimes I read my books out loud to him while we nurse. And when he’s awake and happy it is usually easier and more fun to talk to him, because he’ll look at me and sometimes smile. But is that enough? How do I know if I’m interacting with him enough? Sometimes I really wish babies came with an instruction manual. I’d like an answer that is quantifiable!

By the way, what are your favorite childrens' songs and lullabies? I'm trying to develop my collection a bit. :) Post 'em in the comments!


JMS said...

This isn't really a "children's" song, but I LOVE singing "Once upon a Dream" from Disney's Sleeping Beauty, based on the song by Tschaikovsky. I sang it to Elisa before she was born, and it was the first song I sang to her when I saw her for the first time. Now we sing it together while dancing and twirling! "I know you, I've walked with you once upon a dream... I know you, the gleam in your eyes is so familiar a gleam. & I know it's true that visions are seldom all they seem. But if I know you, I know what you'll do... You'll love me at once, the way you did-- once upon a dream."

Linds said...

There's a great show in NPR called Grey Matters that is a series of spoken essays on subjects relating to the human brain and its function. In an episode I caught about a month ago, the subject was language development in young children. The author contended that the high voice most adults use (especially mothers) to speak to their babies actually help them to learn to differentiate between various frequencies of sound. I couldn't follow much of the story because I'm scientifically-challenged, but you can order transcripts of the shows at and read what I can't remember or didn't understand (or both!).

Mom said...

I remember our wonderful pediatrician telling me to talk, talk, talk. He suggested philosophy, politics, gardening ... absolutely any topic, just talk!

Lullabies - remember Tender Shepherd? Make Me a Servant? Who Loves Jonathan? Jonathan got introduced to these three in the hospital :-) I'll work on remembering more.

We love you Super-Mom!