From birth, babies begin to develop skills that will help them speak. During the first 12 months, they learn to communicate and they practice making sounds.
How to help it progress?
Here are some tips to help develop your child’s communication and language skills.
From birth to 6 months
The first attempts to communicate the babies with their parents occur well before the children express themselves verbally. They often take the form of screams, body movements or facial expressions.
At around 3 months, babies begin to produce sounds (chirping) voluntarily. They like to look their parents in the eye, they are interested in their environment and they react to the voice of Mom and Dad by turning their head in their direction or stop crying.
Around 6 months, the babies begin to babble: they make “dadada” and “mama” for example. Soon they will imitate sounds, then words.
What you can do
When you talk to him, make eye contact and get closer to him so that he can see your face come alive and your lips move. This will help connect different movements to different sounds.
Respond with a smile and enthusiasm for your baby’s communication attempts so that he learns to expect a response from you and wants to communicate. Imitate his sounds too: he will be happy!
Smile, pull out your tongue, open your mouth and watch how your baby reacts. This communication between you two sets the stage for future conversations.
Talk to him during routine daily activities (for example, changing his diaper, feeding him, bathing him, etc.). The more words he hears, the more he can possibly understand and then say.
Use appropriate language when you talk to him. Articulate clearly the words, raise the tone of your voice and exaggerate your intonations. Research shows that little ones like to listen to such language and that it helps them learn to speak. Do not, however, talk about “baby”; for example, do not say “kiki” for “biscuit”. Your child must learn the real words.
6 months to 1 year
Even if 6 months to 1 year babies do not speak yet, they communicate a lot. For example, they smile and laugh when they look at us, they reach out to get caught and they show an object to ask for it or to show their interest. Babies also diversify the sounds they make; they usually produce the sounds “p”, “b”, “m” and “t”, “d”, “n”.
Around 8 months, babies recognize some common words (including their names) even if they are not able to say them. It is around 1 year that children start saying words, such as “mom”, “daddy”, “no” or “milk”.
What you can do
Use the sounds the child produces to make meaningful words, such as “mom” or “dad”. By doing so, you make him understand that sounds are meaningful words.
Name often objects that catch his attention to enrich the vocabulary he already understands. Also describe your actions or his own by saying, for example, “We eat! When your baby or you do this action.
Does your baby know his name? Speak aloud some names and some names (including his own) without being in front of him, and look if he turns his head in your direction at the sound of his first name. Call your baby often by his first name.
When you’re pointing at something, does your baby look at your finger or follow it to see what you’re showing him? If he begins to look at what you point to, it means that he has learned that your gesture is a way of communicating with him. Show often objects or people that interest your child.
Read more for Educational Toys to stimulate your baby’s language.