When your baby begins to chat and babble, there is no better feeling in the world. It's an experience that parents will remember forever.
When your baby begins to babble, it is a happy experience that parents remember for the rest of their lives. Learning to talk is one of the highlights of watching your kiddie grow. As you observe your baby's growing vocabulary, it is mesmerising to see them learn about the words and the world around them.
When your baby is learning to talk, there are some things to know and ways to help your child improve their speech.
Here, we give you some tips and advice:
Talk to your baby as much as you can.
Babies love nothing more than listening to their parents and people around them. This helps them develop an understanding of speech and learn how to talk themselves. From the time your baby is born, they are listening to the world around them and taking it all in. You can help them, naturally by singing to your baby, talking to your little one and giving them plenty of time to listen to themselves without any other distractions.
Make sure that your baby to see your mouth and eye movements.
Spending time with your baby close to you so that they can read your eye and mouth movements is important. As well as this, copying your baby when they make babbling sounds and funny responses is good for encouraging them to chat too.
This way, you are teaching them the ‘art of conversation’ early on. Regardless of their lack of vocabulary, they can begin to mirror how conversations and speaking works.
Sing nursery rhymes and play games.
Don’t forget that every little thing matters when your baby is learning to talk. While you may feel silly chatting to your tiny baby, it is a process and it genuinely helps their speech development.
Encourage your child - even when they are saying words wrong, gently repeat the word so that they can learn. As your baby grows, start to play games and sing-along rhymes. ‘Pat a cake’ is a classic and singing rhymes is easy and fun.
Your baby will respond to your chorus and rhymes while picking up new skills themselves. Clapping enthusiastically shows your baby how well they are doing and once they start giggling, you know they are having fun - and there is nothing better than seeing your baby so happy and giddy!
Teach them words like dog and cat, no and yes.
Teach your baby what things are, like dog, cat and fish, for example. Ask them what things are and though they may not know the answer, encourage them to try. Reward them for their efforts with cuddles and tickles.
When babies get older, they start to understand “no” and “yes” which is important, as when your baby is learning to talk, they are also learning to socialise, play and explore.
Understanding simple things like “no” and “yes” means they will follow instructions in these early days of learning. You’ll find it comes back to bite you when your baby says “no” to the vegetables you give them for dinner, but you should also be pleased that they understand how the word works.
Read to your child as much as you can.
When your child is learning to talk, they’ll begin with simple words before linking them together when they are older. They’ll identify objects and understand questions you ask them, too.
This is a good time to read more to your child and ask them to point out things in the book and encourage them to learn colours and animals too.
It takes time but all these things will encourage your youngster to learn to talk. If you are worried about your child’s speech development, speak to your family doctor or your public health nurse.