(Originally appeared in Burt’s Bees Baby blog: The Daily Honey.)
Like me, you may love bedtime with baby for the bathtime scents, the snuggles, the giggles and the stories.
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 an extra edge by exposing them to nursery rhymes in two languages?
Won't you both be proud when your toddler effortlessly rattles of a rhyme in English and in a second language, like Spanish?
Why is bilingualism so good?Countless studies support the idea that bilingualism is good for babies. Bilingualism has been linked to:
- Improved cognitive skills which influence how babies learn, remember, pay attention and problem solve
- Improved executive functioning which involve 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. Buy a book at your favorite bookstore or get one in some of your favorite Burt’s Bees Baby’s gift sets. All the books in the Canticos Deluxe Book Set are interactive which makes reading them so much fun!
- 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. Look online for bilingual sing-along nursery rhymes and get singing. 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 becomes fully bilingual, 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.
Nuria is an entrepreneur and mom raising two bilingual children. She joined forces with another mom, Susie Jaramillo, and founded Encantos – a family entertainment and education company for today’s multicultural families.
Together they launched Canticos – a bilingual baby and toddler brand with books, apps, and sing-along videos is the first brand from. Nuria serves as Executive Producer of Canticos digital shorts which are now available across Nick Jr.’s digital preschool platforms: on NickJr.com/Canticos, Nick Jr.’s YouTube page and on the Nick Jr. and NOGGIN apps.