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. Daily routines provide wonderful opportunities for babies to learn more about themselves, their environment, and other people.
As your baby’s speech 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 listen to what you say now. I can even follow simple instructions like “get your shoes”
Tip: Babies learn a lot by listening so look at books and talk about the pictures with your baby.
Play & Chat
Your Baby: “I am learning how to play with objects like a real hairbrush or spoon”
Tip: Let your baby play with your old phone, hairbrush and toys so that they can pretend with them.
Your Baby: “I can point to things around me and to pictures in books if you ask me something like “show me the ball”
Tip: Point out and talk about the things that you do and see to help your baby understand more about the world around them.
Your Baby: “I can use more words now but they are still a bit unclear”
Tip: If your baby makes a mistake with your words, say the word again so they hear it the right way.
Your Baby: “I still babble all the time and practice changing my voice like whispering or talking loudly”
Tip: When you talk to your baby, always look closely at their face. This helps them know that you are interested in what they say and encourages them to talk more!
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.