Breathing is something we do naturally, all day, every day and it’s important we teach breathing to our babies as breath is vital to speech.
Have you ever sat and watched a baby breathe? Their bodies respond to every impulse through breath - blooming with every inhalation and the full body surrender when they exhale.
Breath support for speech refers to the stabilisation of the body for proper airflow for speech. Breath control also refers to the regulation and coordination of airflow for speech.
Some breaths calm the body whereas others energise it. Breathing exercises can support efficient and articulate speech production as well as helping to relax the body and mind which has a positive impact on language learning.
It is common practice in voice therapy to incorporate breath control and vocal relaxation techniques and this is why we incorporate breathing exercises into some our Baby Drama classes.
Differences exist between non-speech and speech breathing and exploring this is extremely beneficial to a child’s development.
A baby’s participation in breath work is relatively passive, whereas the caregiver’s role is active.
Try laying your baby on your chest with the other hand on your baby’s chest to encourage the synchronisation of your breathing cycles
For older babies, try blowing bubbles. Bubbles are a great way to be playful and breathe deeply, plus the blowing action helps to work on mouth and tongue muscles too
Have your baby lie on their back and put a stuffed animal on their tummy so they can see the animal moving up and down as they breathe
These simple activities could initiate the process of increasing your baby’s awareness of the breath.