I mean really talk. Not baby talk, not babble, but actual real TALK. I have done this since Mercedes was born. I have conversations with her, I ask her questions and for her opinions. We will walk through the grocery store and she will be in the wrap or in the cart and I will ask her whats next on the list, what brand we should get, is this green pepper big enough, do we need carrots, does she want bananas, etc etc etc. We will talk non stop through the store.
I was doing this today while I was looking for socks to turn into Sans Pants. We were in a teenybopper store (they have good sock selection) and there were a couple different pairs I wanted and I was asking Mercedes which pair should we get. "Do we want the plain ones or do we want the fun ones? It would be nice to have a pair that goes with everything, but they are kinda boring. What do you think?" The socks were close to the registers and a woman was standing in line and she says to me, in a rather snotty tone, "Does she usually have a strong opinion on these things?" I was a little taken aback because with all the talking to Mercedes I do out in public nobody has ever said something but I responded telling her "Yes, actually she does. We always ask her opinions on these kind of things, even picking out produce. Its important to include baby in conversations and decision making." She just laughed a little and walked away.
I realize that at times I probably look a little silly, my baby strapped to me and talking away to her while to other people at least, it appears that she doesn't understand. I however firmly believe that she does understand and enjoys sharing her opinion and knowing I am interested in it.
There are SO many benefits to talking with your baby. It makes them feel important, part of the grown up conversations and helps solidify their importance and validity in your life. Aside from the emotional benefits, it will also help them learn to talk by emphasizing real words instead of baby talk, and helps them learn the patterns of conversation (first I talk, then you talk). So go have a conversation with your little one. Even if you feel a little silly, it will probably make both your days brighter. Totally worth it.