Communication starts the moment your baby is born. As you cuddle your little one, you let the baby know, "I love you. I will keep you safe and warm." The process of learning language starts within healthy relationships in early infancy.
Experts say that how you connect with your baby helps the baby feels secure and learn building blocks for communication.
In the early weeks and months of your baby's life, you and your baby will make many discoveries about how to connect and communicate.
Enjoy these special moments and know that this sets the stage for communication!
You might be thinking…."what is so special about all of this? Isn't this what moms and dads do with any baby?" You are right. Communication with your baby who is deaf or hard of hearing will start in much the same way as it does with any baby. The message you want to communicate with your face, voice and body is, "we love you…let's have some fun together."
Here are examples of a mom and then a dad playing with their hearing 8-month-old girl. In the first example, notice how the mom draws little Signe into a form of peek-a-boo, using the shape sorter lid to encourage the baby to look at her. Signe takes her turn by smiling and watching intently. That signals mom to continue the game. Notice that as soon as Signe turns away and loses interest, mom follows her lead and allows the game to change. This helps establish the beginnings of back and forth communication. You can sense the enjoyment and warmth between them.
Next, let's peek in on dad. He gets conversations going by responding to Singe's mood expressed in her vocalization. He says, "You sound happy to see her." Then he patiently waits a moment, and she responds with another vocalization. He "answers" her by responding to her vocalization. Turns go back and forth, they are having fun. Both mom and dad are connecting using the WEE steps.