Your baby’s first teacher is you. You have the amazing opportunity to create a language-rich environment for your child. If you want to help your child develop the ability to communicate, you need to create those opportunities yourself. If your not sure how to begin, here are three simple ways to help your baby learn how to talk.
Three Ways You Can Help Your Baby Learn How to Talk
Describe Your Activities and Surroundings
It may feel a little bit like you’re talking to yourself because you’re probably not getting a response, but your baby is absorbing everything you say. Your baby will learn how to talk easily when you narrate everything for them. So, starting first thing in the morning, announce a play-by-play of your activities, no matter how trivial.
Here are some examples:
- “Good morning, I’m turning on your light now.”
- “It’s time to change your diaper. Here’s the container of wipes. The container of wipes is filled to the brim. Look at how many wipes are in the container. This container is huge.”
- “I’m making your breakfast now. Now I’m taking the box of rice cereal out of the cabinet. I’m going to pour the rice cereal in a bowl and mix it together with some applesauce. Look at me mixing it together. I’m mixing it, faster and faster. Look at how speedy I am.”
Read to Your Baby
Read as much as you can to your baby. Books offer opportunities for your baby to encounter words and situations that they wouldn’t in daily life. Books also provide an opportunity for your baby to practice and focus on specific words. And best of all, reading to children encourages creativity.
A variety of books focus on baby’s “first words.” These are valuable for helping your baby learn how to talk. They allow you to point to pictures but make sure to include storybooks as well, so your baby can learn about how sentences work.
Encourage Your Baby to Ask for Things
To help your baby learn how to talk, encourage your baby to make choices. Ask questions like, “Do you want the red one or the green one?” Even though your baby probably won’t be able to say “red” or “green,” they may start to recognize different words. Presenting choices also encourages your baby to use language to communicate.
There are many other ways to help your baby learn how to talk. Be patient and consistent, and you’ll see progress in time. However, if you are concerned about your child’s speech development, be sure to contact a pediatrician.