At a recent book club meeting my friend Karen approached me with a concern that her daughter-in-law was not too keen on video calls. “I think that after the first fifteen minutes they just don’t seem that interested in continuing the call. Do you think we should make the calls shorter?” Karen solved her own problem.
Young children and busy, or tired parents often enjoy short calls at a time that works best for their schedule. New parents are often exhausted from sleepless nights and busy days caring for their children. Attention spans of young children are short.
With our own children we often let them initiate the call when the time is right for our grandchildren. Your video call will be welcomed and more enjoyable for all if you keep it short and let the parent determine the best time to call.
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Video calling with a newborn to one-month-old baby is a wondrous experience. You begin this new relationship by connecting with sound.
Baby’s distance vision is limited and will take several months to develop. However, the newborn’s sense of hearing is well developed as the baby has been listening to sounds inside the womb for many months. Parents’ voices are recognized, as are the voices of others who are frequently around the baby or who were often with the pregnant mother.
In the Yale Child Study Center’s Guide to Understanding Your Child, the authors tell us how important sound is to babies. After birth, a baby is more likely to recognize his father’s voice if he talked to the baby while it was still in the womb!
Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings can begin a relationship with video calling so that the baby will also recognize their voices, even if they are not with the baby frequently.
High tones and gentle sounds are preferred–avoid deep and loud sounds, which may frighten the baby. Adults often use high tones when talking to babies, so a little gentle talk from you will sound just right at this early stage.
Because the baby’s skin is sensitive, the person who is with the baby should hold and stroke the baby during the video calling session so that the baby connects a loving touch with the sound of your voice.