Baby Talk: Harnessing The Power of Babble

A recent article in the New York Times, The Power of Talking to Your Baby, discussed the importance of fostering children’s language skills between the ages of birth to three years old. Focusing on children’s speech development early on can prevent speech issues later. Speech issues may include trouble with articulation, challenges related to academics such as reading, writing, and spelling, or difficulty expressing thoughts, wants, or needs.

Here are some easy ways to increase your child’s verbal language skills before they enter preschool!

Birth to three months old:

  • Sing and talk to your baby. 
  • Plan for quiet time: babies need time to play quietly without other competing noises. 

Three to six months old:

  • Imitate your baby’s babbles. 
  • Hold your baby close so he or she will look into your eyes. 
  • Talk to him or her and smile. 

Six to nine months old:

  • Play routine games like patty cake or peek-a-boo. 
  • Describe the toys they play with. Go beyond the label, describing characteristics and function. 
  • Ask questions such as, “Where’s doggie?” If they do not or cannot answer, show them where the dog is. 

Nine to twelve months old: 

  • Tell your baby to show you objects around the room. 
  • When your baby points at an object, talk about the object with him or her. 

One to two years old:

Your baby will be able to follow directions and put words together. You can spur your child’s communication skills when you:

  • Teach your child simple songs and nursery rhymes. 
  • Read to your child, asking him or her to point to and tell you what he sees. 
  • Engage your child in pretend play. You can talk on a play phone, feed the doll, or have a party with toy animals. 

Two to three years old:

You can help your child put new words together and teach him or her things that are important to know when you:

  • Ask about the number, shape and size of the object your child shows you. 
  • Ask open-ended questions. 
  • Ask your child about a story he or she has to read. 
  • Do lots of pretend play. 

Have more questions or interested in A Chance To Grow’s Speech Therapy program? Feel free to comment below or contact us to speak with one of our speech therapists.

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