Talk Tips

mother talking to son to help baby development

  • Use loving kind words - babies can tell from the tone of your voice whether you're speaking positively. Speak quietly and face-to-face with your baby to cut out distractions.

  • Use 'baby talk' - this is a higher-pitched way of talking and you'll probably find you do it automatically when talking to your baby.

  • Use 'small talk' - describe everything you're doing: "I'm pushing the pram" or "I'm putting on your nappy". Describe what you see your baby doing: "You're waving your arms" or "You're making a lovely cooing sound." Get in the habit of using 'small talk' as your baby grows.

  • Talk about everything - when your baby is a little older, talk about everything as this helps language development: "We're putting on your trousers now", "I'm eating my lunch" or "It's very cold today".

  • Name objects - for older babies, provide the names of everyday objects - especially when your baby begins to point at them. "That's your teddy" or "This is your cup" - your baby will learn most of her langiage from you. By the end of the first year, your baby will understand a great deal of what you say to them and will probably be able to follow simple instructions, like: "Pass me the cup" or "Wave bye-bye".

  • Encourage your baby's attempts - never make fun of them when they get words wrong, as this could put her off trying again. encourage all your baby's attempts to talk with you.

  • Read together - start with special picture books for babies. This is invaluable for them as it helps improve words, language and listening skills.

  • Enjoy conversations together - by 8 to 12 months your baby will be making babbling sounds and may well say simple words like "dada" and "mama". Speak directly to them - this is important for speech to develop. Give lots of praise for every new language achievement - even if your baby doesn't quite understand the words.

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