Your Baby Talking For The First Time!
Your baby talking for the first time is one of the greatest and most memorable milestones for a mom. Of course, it will take a long time for your baby to talk, at least until he/she turns 2, and sometimes even later. This is especially the case if you wish to hear them speak in sentences. However, the learning process begins right after your child is born. As a parent, you can play a major role in getting your baby to talk, and here are some proven ways for the same.
0 to 3 Months
Believe it or not, your baby starts listening to your voice right from month 0, and as time passes, he/she will try to replicate the sounds you make by gurgling and cooing. During this stage, you can encourage their learning by:
- Giving them quiet time to play and babble.
- Talk to your baby and involve others in the same. Though the little one may not be able to understand the language yet, he/she will like your sound, and that of others too.
- Sing to your baby right from when he/she is in your womb, and continue it even after birth.
3 to 6 Months
During this time, your baby is starting to learn the way people converse with each other. To help him/her further:
- Talk to him/her at every chance you get.
- Hold you baby close enough encouraging them to make eye contact with you.
- Imitate the babble sounds he/she makes.
6 to 9 Months
Your baby is starting to understand emotions from the sound of your voice. If you talk to him/her in a happy voice, you will see them smiling. On the other hand, if your voice sounds angry, you could notice your little one frown. Also, your baby could be playing with sounds, some of which may sound to you like simple words. At this stage:
- Start using toys to play with your baby.
- Sing rhymes that involve actions so you can make your baby do the same.
- Play peek-a-boo.
- Start asking your little one some questions and see if they respond. For instance, ask him/her “where is daddy?” wait for their response and then point to their dad.
9 to 12 Months
During this stage, your baby will start to understand words. For instance, you might notice him/her looking at you when someone asks them “where is mommy?”, or try saying a simple “no” to something you don’t want them to do; do this a couple times and you will notice them responding by stopping their action and looking at you. Now, you can start teaching them simple actions like giving high five, waving goodbye, etc.
12 to 18 Months
This is a wonderful phase where you will hear your bundle of joy use a few words. You will see them use the same words repetitively to describe an item. Also, they will start to point at things that they want, babble looking at it to show you what they want, and also try reaching for it.
As they reach the 18-month mark, their communication becomes more refined and complex. You will see your toddler reaching out to you, taking your hand, walking you to their toy chest, and pointing at their building blocks, saying “bocks” to make you understand that they want to play with the blocks.
- Talk to your toddler regularly and consistently, asking for their input in things that involve them, like what juice they want, what they want for breakfast, which pair of shoes they would like to wear today, etc. When you ask a question, give your toddler sufficient time to respond.
- Reading interactive books will be really helpful as well. While reading, let your child involve by asking questions about what they see in the book. For instance, if there is a dog in the book, let them name it and then ask, “what sound does the dog make?”.
- Also, now will be the best time to start pretend play. It helps with language development.
- Teach them body parts pointing at yours and that of your child. You will soon notice them pointing and responding too.
- Play hide and seek and include your kid’s toys in the game.
18 to 24 Months
Your baby will now be able to put together a few words to form sentences, like “go out”, “ball catch”, etc. They will also know how to follow directions, which means you can now teach them to do things on their own.
- Encourage your toddler to help you with small things, like putting their cup in the sink, throwing a used tissue in the dustbin, etc.
- When he/she is around close family members or friends, encourage them to talk to people, tell them a story, sing their favorite rhyme, etc.
- Teach them new rhymes, read new stories, and interact during the whole process.
Above anything, when your baby tries to talk, say by pointing or using single words, praise him/her for their efforts, even if they have a long way to go.
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