Your baby’s first words are a significant milestone, and no parent ever forgets the moment when their child begins to communicate verbally. However, the most common concern for new parents is when their child will begin to talk.
Is there any way that you can assist them in learning the norms of language and transforming their adorable newborn babbling into good speech?
The excitement that comes from hearing your child babble, say simple words, and eventually talk in sentences is something that the entire family can look forward to with great pleasure.
At what age does a baby first speak?
At around six weeks, your baby will begin to babble, marking the beginning of the first stage of speech development. Your baby’s sounds, such as gurgling and cooing, are significant. This is because they are the beginnings of speech, even though you probably can’t comprehend a word they say just yet.
Babies also learn to express themselves nonverbally as they develop, and you may notice that they smile, laugh, and wave their arms and hands. They also make noises when they’re in pain, hungry, upset, or weary. This phenomenon is known as pre-speech.
When do babies start to talk?
Around the time your baby turns one, they’ll begin to make sounds. Since you’ve probably spent a lot of time saying these phrases to your child, they may respond with “daddy” or “mummy” (or something similar). Even if you don’t understand what they’re saying, bear with them. This is because they’re likely attempting to convey something else.
Ways to help your baby learn how to talk:
1. Establish eye contact
Although turning your back on your endearing infant may tempt them to consume an alternative object, you cannot help but fixate on them ceaselessly. Are you making direct eye contact with them often, though?
Your baby will learn to pay attention to your voice and other sounds when you establish eye contact with them.
Your neural activity is mirrored in your baby’s brain when you look into their eyes. Babies as young as 6 months old can begin to express themselves verbally through mirroring. Despite their infancy, your young ones can express themselves through gestures and sounds.
Expect the following as your child learns how to talk;
- Startled by sudden, intense sounds
- Looking someone in the eyes while they speak
- Paying close attention when others are talking
- Smiling when you smile at them
2. Participate in simple word repetition
When you speak to your kid, do you tend to use patterns of sounds and words?
If that is the case, you are heading in the correct direction! In the same way that non-visual stimuli do, repeating simple, catchy words stimulates the synapses in the newborn brain.
Use a mix of sounds, gestures, and words to help your baby learn the names of common objects. Make it a habit to repeat words three times if they are relevant to what you are doing.
Say “splash, splash, splash” as you playfully splash your palm across the water in the bathtub. Your infant will quickly develop crucial word associations in this manner.
3. Make time to read aloud to your baby
As a parent, do you read to your child before bed? It is important to read aloud to the little ones, as early as 6 months of age because it increases their development of vocabulary. Additionally, it fosters great reading abilities in the long run.
Babies thrive with brightly illustrated, simple board books. Even a virtual story time class is possible, so you may curl up with the newspaper or your favorite book and read to your little one.
Although the youngster may not comprehend the plot of an enthralling bestseller, reading it aloud in an appropriate way for children is equally important!
4. Verbalize everything
Has your baby ever joined in on a conversation with you?
Sure, babies can’t respond verbally, so it might appear ridiculous to treat them like they can. But the truth is that you’re preparing your little ones for early speech when you talk to them as much as possible while you’re with them.
Any topic is fair game when conversing with a young child. Discuss the passing vehicles in your neighborhood. Share some stories about the lovely plants you come across while out and about.
As you engage in enjoyable projects with your older children, take the opportunity to express how much your entire family adores and values the little one. Babies have excellent hearing.
Your baby will learn to chatter in response to your constant speech. Saying your child’s name and asking them questions are great ways to incorporate them into the conversation. This will help them learn and grow. Your tone will pique their interest, even if they don’t speak back.
5. Answer questions
Because of their insatiable curiosity, children may pester you with more questions than you’re comfortable answering. Toddlers still have much to learn about the world, so answering their questions is important. For this reason, they can start to understand things more clearly.
Permit your children to inquire and divert attention with related discussions, even when you are telling a narrative to them. That way, they’ll be more likely to start a conversation, which will help them become better speakers.
6. Avoiding babbling baby talk
Although it’s important to be aware that some forms of baby talk can hinder your child’s language development. When we gaze at our babies, most parents can’t help but say the most impractical things.
You adore your young one so much that you can’t help but convey your feelings through their chattering. There’s no better way to tell them how beautiful they are. Try not to talk down to your baby unless necessary.
Your child needs you to talk to them using real words and proper language as much as possible. This teaches them to interpret and encode what you say into their little but powerful brain.
7. Are you able to read your baby’s cues?
While pointing is a terrific way to communicate with your child, it shouldn’t be your only tool. You should also teach your baby to say “please” and “thank you” when they are upset.
You can ask, “Would you like your sippy?” in response to a child pointing to their cup. Your infant can start to understand the difference between needs and wants at this stage.
An effective strategy for assisting your child’s speech development is to use this type of verbal reinforcement in conjunction with infant sign language or gestures.
8. Feed their curiosity
Your baby shows signs of curiosity when they reach out to grab something. They desire a more tactile and experiential understanding of the world around them. Whether it’s a piece of fruit, a toy, or a watch, your baby will learn the term for it faster if you talk about it while engrossed.
9. Put music and words together
How frequently do you join in singing your beloved children’s songs?
You should feel good about singing the ABCs many times a day. This is because it helps your baby improve their speech. Music has a direct beneficial effect on improving a baby’s language abilities.
In particular, a baby can learn about sentence structure and sound formation through music, especially songs with basic lyrics.
So, to sum up, don’t stop singing about the little spider. Use a sing-song voice when you talk to your baby. From bath time to bedtime, make up songs and marvel at how your child imitates every word.
Seek the advice of your child’s primary care physician if you have any concerns about their language or speech development. They can connect you with a speech and language therapy department in your area if required.
Also, keep up natural conversations in the language(s) you prefer with your bilingual child; this will help them develop their language skills. Keep in mind that every baby develops at their own pace, if some of your friends’ babies appear to be further along in the process, it doesn’t always indicate that anything is wrong with your child.
Building a solid foundation for your baby’s speech and language skills begins with your active engagement and conversation. Enjoy this incredible adventure of discovery!