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Bringing Up Baby

kateWhile there’s a list of things we shouldn’t do—or feed—our grandchildren, there’s an even more important list of what we should do. Call it best practices. Talking and reading top the chart.

While this may seem like a no-brainer, the explosion of cells phones, iPods and BlackBerrys means too many moms and nannies are communicating with everyone except the baby, so has been the observation of New York Times columnist Jane Brody.

Maybe mom is multi-tasking, trying to keep the boss happy while pushing the stroller. But grandparents can give undivided attention. So talk, sing, coo and point out the world. Reading can never start too early, although the attention span might be limited to just a few minutes with infants. Make eye contact as often as possible so baby can “read” your facial expression.

The Brody column article reminds us that communication is critical for a child’s verbal development, beginning with newborns. So turn off the cell and starting chattering away.

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