Talking and listening to babies from the moment they’re born helps them develop good listening and language skills. It also helps them to learn and develop good relationships with people.
It’s never too early to start talking to your child. Most brain development happens before the age of two and the best way to stimulate babies’ brains is to talk to them more.
Babies can talk to you before they start using words. By moving their mouth, arms or legs, cooing, babbling or smiling, your baby is talking with you and looking for a response. Try to respond to your baby by making eye contact, smiling and talking back as much as possible.
As your baby is developing they are learning new words and language through looking, listening and playing. Here are some handy tips in areas that help your baby to develop strong language skills:
Attention & Listening
Your Baby: “I can recognise your voice. I learned it before I was born”
Tip: Playing games with your baby will help them to make connections in their brain.
Play & Chat
Your Baby: “I look at you and start to smile at you when I am 6 weeks old”
Tip: Your baby loves spending special time with you. Try to create special time with your baby by looking at brightly coloured books together.
Your Baby: “I know when your voice is happy or sad”
Tip: Your baby will love to hear your voice more, try singing and chatting with your baby using gentle voices.
Your Baby: “I can copy you if you stick out your tongue at me”
Tip: Hold your baby near to you so they can look closely at your face when you talk.
Your Baby: “I am finding my voice and starting to make some gurgling sounds”
Tip: Try copying the sounds that your baby makes. Your baby will enjoy listening to your voice
This article is provided by Little Voices. Little Voices is the oral language strand of the ABC Start Right Limerick project. The aim of Little Voices is to improve outcomes in oral language development and pre-literacy skills in children aged 0 – 4 years.
Little Voices is led by Speech and Language Therapists who work closely with parents, families and staff in the North side and city centre communities of Limerick. Little Voices focuses on developing a collaborative and universal approach that engages children through the implementation of various training, mentoring supports and parent programmes.