Things You Can Do To Help Your Baby's Language Development

Posted on April 11, 2011 at 5:54 AM

Here are some activities you can incorporate into your daily routine with your baby. Remember that babies learn through lots of repetition, so even if you think your baby is not old enough for some of the activities, keep at it and make it fun!


1. Speak to your baby in a high pitched voice. Adults tend to use this way of talking naturally when speaking to babies. It's called "parentese" and studies have shown babies are attracted to it.


2. Don't use "baby talk". Simple sentences are O.K. at first, but don't use incorrect grammar or your child's "baby" words. Describe what you are doing, where you are going, and who and what you are going to see as you are going about your daily routines.


3. Encourage your baby to make vowel-like and consonant-vowel sounds such as "ma", "da" and "ba". A good way to do this is by repeating what your baby says and then waiting for your baby to repond. This also teaches turn taking.


4. Respond to any attempt your child makes to communicate. When your child starts saying single words, expand on it. For example, if your baby says "Mama", you can say "Mama is here. Mama loves you."


5. Encourage eye contact and do activities that keep your baby's attention on your face. Silly facial expressions, imitating your baby's facial expression, playing peek-a-boo, and holding objects your baby is attracted to up by your eyes are all ways to do this.


6. Babies are attracted to hand movements so use this to your advantage. Illustrate certain words in songs and in conversation with a gesture. Play finger games such as Pat-a-Cake and the Itsy-Bitsy Spider. Sing the alphabet song while signing the letters. This really helps keep baby's attention and visually seperates the letters which can be difficult for little ones to understand auditorily alone.


7. Teach your baby to imitate your actions including clapping your hands, throwing kisses, and playing finger games.


8. Consider using simple signs with your baby as this has been shown to develop enhanced early communication and verbal skills.


9. Stick illustrations of signs you want to use with your baby and an alphabet strip, preferably with photographs of objects, above your baby's changing table to keep in mind and talk about while you are changing your baby - you will be there alot! Use the alphabet strip to talk about categories of objects, e.g. all the food items, animals, etc.


10. It's never too early to start reading to your baby. Choose books that are sturdy and have large colorful pictures that are not too detailed. Books with large photographs of faces of babies usually hold their interest best at first. Read the same book over and over and ask questions and supply the answers if needed. Count objects and identify colors. Encourage your baby to point to or touch objects on the pages as you name them or ask them where it is.


11. Play with your baby and have fun!

Categories: Speech and Language Development

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