ENGLISH | SPANISH

Give Your Baby A Little Head Start At Bedtime!

By Nuria Santamaría Wolfe

Like me, you may love bedtime with baby for the bathtime scents, the snuggles, the giggles and the stories. 

Bilingual songs and nursery rhymes in particular are wonderful for little ones, as there is a cadence in the rhyming that helps little ears become attuned to phonics and develop early literacy skills. 

Why not give toddlers a bilingual advantage by exposing them to nursery rhymes in two languages?

Won’t you both be proud when your toddler effortlessly rattles off a rhyme in English and in a second language, like Spanish?

So, what are some of the benefits of bilingualism

Countless studies support the idea that bilingualism is good for babies, linking it to:

  • Improved cognitive skills which influence how babies learn, remember, pay attention and problem solve.
  • Improved executive functioning which involves self-control and self-regulation.
  • Protecting the brain later in life which includes the offset of dementia.

And of course, if you’re raising bilingual babies, you’re raising global citizens – opening up their world to more people, cultures, and experiences to enrich their life. Now that feels good! 

How can you raise a bilingual baby if you don’t speak a second language?

Surprise! You don’t need to speak a second language to expose your little one to a language like Spanish. Spanish is a completely phonetic language. Each and every letter makes the same sound consistently throughout all vocabulary, making Spanish much easier to read than English!

  • Read:  One of the easiest ways is to pick up a bilingual book and read along one language at a time. Knowing the story in the dominant language helps them process the story in the second language much faster, facilitating their language acquisition. All Canticos books are designed to give kids foundational math, literacy and social emotional skills as they start their bilingual education. 
  • Sing: Lullabies and nursery rhymes are a great way to introduce a second language through music. Babies love repetition and hearing the words again and again makes it easier to remember. Canticos’ Emmy-nominated educational videos are all available to watch on YouTube and stream on Spotify, Amazon and Apple music too. Simply press play and they’ll build up that baby brain as they doze off to sleep. 
  • Don’t get discouraged: Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Even if your baby never develops full bilingual proficiency, simply exposing your little one to a second language for some period of time has huge benefits! 

¡Vamos! Let’s go! It’s never too early to start.  
Bedtime just got better.

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