The more excitement your baby shows in learning new words; the more likely she will use them.
- Talk as much as possible as this is the best thing you can do for your baby. Watch their eyes and face carefully while talking and show your interest when she tries talking to you.
- Focus on what they are trying to say instead of clarity and pronunciation. Try helping them, talk confidently.
- Applause and give them feedback when they succeed in communicating their speech like- yes, you are right, it is food.
- You can relate your work with actions so that they can match it from next time, Like- Socks off, means removing of socks- shoes off, removing the shoes.
When you feed your baby put the bowl on the table and say “it’s lunchtime”. Then she will understand that a bowl on the table with that smell indicates lunchtime, although she couldn’t understand the phrase, lunchtime now she could relate it to certain cues.
- You can get their attention by calling out their name before you talk and make eye contact. This will help them in understanding that you are talking to them.
- Expose your baby to new situations where you can introduce them to new words. Take them on a walk or on the bus and point out the things you see on the way.
- Repeat back what your toddler was trying to say like: when they “nana” complete it by saying “banana”.
- Use short speeches and sentences when you are talking to them.
- Switch off the unnecessary sound like the background sound of TV or radio; this will help them focus on your speech. Children find it harder to filter noise.
HOW CAN WE MAKE LEARNING FUN?
It is easy to make it fun and we are aware of the fact that any fun activity encourages your baby to express herself.
Get down on your knees and on the floor to play with your baby. Let them choose their toy or an activity they love to do. Also, talk about what would your baby do with that pleasing toy. Enjoy your baby’s play. Therefore, this will clear many of your baby’s doubts on how to play and perform an activity. Talks to your babies toy this will make them believe it that is real. Put your baby’s toy on the table and treat it as you treat your baby.
Look and read out books to your baby often. Even if you don’t read the phrases talk about the pictures. Read them nursery rhymes especially the ones with word repetitions.
Play games like:
- Clapping games, where one claps in a pattern and let your toddler try to mimic the same.
- By making them choose from an animal picture by making an animal noise. Example: moo is for the cow, mean is for the cat.
- Collect your entire baby’s toy which makes noise and makes a sound out of his sight and let them decide which one was it.
- You could also play games like, Simon says where you command like, Simon says to put your hands on head and demonstrate it yourself. Your baby will do the same; carry it on with other body parts.
- Take a towel into the garden in the summer, lie down and instruct your toddler to close the eyes and listen carefully. After a few minutes of talking to them about the sound of the breeze, birds chirping, dogs barking.
BABIES TEACH EACH OTHER TO TALK
Researchers noted babies’ responses to infants of their own age and compared with adults who too responded to them. The results came striking as babies listened to an infant’s vowel 45% longer than adults, showing a result and preference for matched sounds. Babble is just the emergence of syllables that consists of consonants.
CAN WE TEACH THEM?
Babies understand your speech long before they could speak. Many chose to use only 1-2 words although they understand 30 or more.
- WATCH: Your baby extends both his arms up indicating he wants to be picked up, wants to play, hands you toy, or push the food. Smile, make eye contact, and respond confidently.
- LISTEN: Pay attention to babies babbling. Babies try to imitate sounds their parents make by varying the pitch. So be patient and give time.
- PRAISE: Smile and clap on their smallest and confusing attempts at the talk.
- IMITATE: Babies love to imitate and make faces and when parents talk to them. The more you talk the more speech they will develop.
- ELABORATE: Babies point to the table and hint that they are hungry. Instead of that teach them to point at noodles and ask do they want more? How does it taste?
- NARRATE: Talk about your day-to-day doings. Like his dress, socks, cap and explain about everything they are wearing and its use.
- HANG IN THERE: Even you do not understand their speech, keep trying and repeat back what you thought it could be. Keep your loving attention on them and reward them every time they talk.
- LET YOUR BABY LEAD: During playtime, go playing with them and follow what your child wants you to do. This will boost the confidence in them and they will lead in this two-way game.
- PLAY: Encourage them to play, babies together develop verbal skills.
- READ ALOUD: Lifelong relaxation comes after reading. So read out loud to your baby and let them enjoy.
IF YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT SPEECH DELAY
Watch out first for any sign of major speech delay and talk with a doctor if you feel there is a problem. This can happen because of a number of reasons but it is good if you detect it earlier you will have more time to correct and help your baby.
- Do a hearing test: 3 out of 1000 infants have hearing loss, this can cause a delay in speech. It is compulsory in many states to have a diagnosis immediately after birth. At least parents will have more time for medication before they attain an age where they should be going to school.
- See a pathologist: They can treat specific speech, voice, and language. They give print tips to improve speech and baby language skills.
- Consider development screening: Up to 15% of babies have a behavioral disability like autism or cognitive disability. These can also cause speech delays.
Here are some steps to help parents-
It is never early to instill liking and love for a language; just after the birth engage your baby nonstop and create a sparkling fabric book full of alphabets and pictures. This strategy can work wonders and your baby can pop out the first syllable in just 6 months. Here the brain growth starts tremendously from the first month. Although it requires a lot of effort and exposure in the beginning.
Researchers indicate that many babies start acquiring language skills while they are in the womb so it is advised to be in a positive surrounding. Though the skills which they learned in the womb may not click them immediately after their birth the synapses are firing in the baby brain.
Babies take a week-long time to assimilate the words they hear daily- giving no clues to parents about learning behind the scenes. From day one they hear a lot of chats and words so it takes them time to arrange it in phrase and fit it into a sentence. They are constantly working on how these languages work.
WHAT CAN YOU DO
Remember to TALK OFTEN, BE PATIENT, GET CREATIVE
Over time, the more words the baby hears the better. Many parents do it as a routine to talk daily with their babies for hours. Babies learn best when words are repeated and repeated.
Experts suggest the more words baby hear their brain develops significantly. A great way to attain this goal is by doing “Self-talk”. Parents can turn this routine into fun for them as well as babies, a learning experience.
Think of these skills like a garden, the more it blossoms the more they need nurturing. In short, it means more and more conversation with the child as they grow older. Just because your kid has started interacting and learning things faster does not mean you have to discontinue chit-chatting in fact it’s time to give-and-take type of conversation with your child where you both talk and listen.
First when you speak to your child allow them to respond even if he is not equipped with words and only nod and giggles.
Second be patient if they misidentify words, objects, and colors. Remember to acknowledge the effort they made.
For many parents, it is not possible to stay at home so in that case many child-care facilities provide and embrace similar tactics and curriculum. Many child-care centers emphasize singing along, reading, and word games. It is all about a positive environment where the language is a part of a broader and bigger context.
Of course one understands very easily when it comes to rewarding. Whenever your toddler picks up a new word or phrase claps and sings for them. Dance to celebrate their success when they string 2 or 3 words together. Ask them open-ended questions without them answering like; what do you love the most about food? How was the taste? What do you see in the picture? Be patient and allow time for your baby to respond. Look in their eyes when talking, the more one-on-one interaction you will have the happier and responsive your toddler is going to be.
You can make listen to music to your baby even when they are in the womb. Instead of putting the headphone on your stomach, play them in your car or home. There is a recommended volume for babies in the womb, just an ambient noise produced by a washing machine. Children start making sense of this sound when they are 25 weeks old. Put childhood songs on speaker as simple melody songs couldn’t do great work.
TALK TO YOUR BABY IN YOUR PREGNANCY
Babies recognize the voice of parents as they have been hearing this from the day they came into senses. By talking to them and reading out books while they are in the womb can enable them to learn things fastly.
FIND MULTILINGUAL WAYS
Newborns are familiar with their mother tongue as they have been hearing this all this time but one can make them multilingual as this is the age when they won’t be facing difficulty in learning several languages.
Watch foreign films, sitting in language teaching classes.
DO ARTICULATION EXERCISES WITH BABY
Difficult sentences trip even experienced speakers so make it fun for your child to practice. Give them tongue twisters like- Fuzzy woozy, whether the weather, she sells sea.
ASK COMPLICATED QUESTIONS
When your kid reaches the age of 3 starts asking them difficult questions but does not punish them for poor grammar they may feel afraid of speaking then. Instead, correct them politely and encourage them to describe their thoughts.
Though every kid is different and has their own language milestone still there are a predictable progression in every kid language skill and development.
- 0 to 4 MONTHS
Most babies make a gurgling sound and mimic noises in their own pitch.
- 4 to 7 MONTHS
Babbling sounds like B, D, and M are evident as these are easy to pop out and are not tongue twisters.
- 7 TO 12 MONTHS
Sounds now diversify into squeals and grunts and it usually starts from their first birthday.
- 12 TO 18 MONTHS
Vocabulary is grown at a rapid speed and they start multiple word combinations.
- 18 TO 30 MONTHS
Small sentences and phrases.
If by 18 months your child hasn’t learned at least 15 words then you should see a pediatrician. Don’t ignore them as sooner they learn you can help revise them again and again by repetitions.
From being pregnant to waiting for your child’s first syllable to come out was not an easy task. Your little one needs direction and guidance in speech development. Babies respond from birth it is just that the way of responses differs with age. Speech milestone is one of the important factors when it comes to guiding your toddler.
You should guide them by various means just talking will not help in fact the voice modulation, recognizing a picture with its sound and color is also a speech development. Putting your face closer to babies increase their concentration and voice modulation like- high and low pitch seeks their attention towards open wide and closed mouths.
This teaches them how to move the tongue and do lipsing, always take a pause when they are looking at your lips because they might be trying to catch the word with lipsing.
Words like dada, mama, and papa are some of the first syllables they pop out because these are easy to say, and shorten words are easy to remember. Always act as a guide to your baby, make them listen to your stories at the time of feeding and bathing too. Although they do not respond they love to listen to you and respond by laughing and giggling.
They always leave a gap in conversation by missing out on some words or grammar, in that case, help them to complete the word so that they can at least recall it next time. Learning to take out turns in any conversation is an important part. Turn-taking is developed best in simpler conversations we do without babies and in the games, they play with us.
Letting them talk and teaching them to talk according to us and our set milestones are two different aspects with lots of effort from our side.
Hope the above article helped you in learning – How to teach babies to talk?