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.
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 look for sounds I hear around me”
Tip: Talk to your baby all the time, tell them what you are doing and what you see.
Play & Chat
Your Baby: “I listen to people talk and turn my head to see who it is”
Tip: Make sure your baby can see your face when you talk to them.
Your Baby: “I feel different emotions and my cries mean different things”
Tip: Say words over and over again so your baby can begin to learn what they mean.
Your Baby: “I watch your face to see how your mouth works and how sounds come out”
Tip: When your baby makes a sound, copy it so they understand what sound they made.
Your Baby: “I start to laugh and make cooing noises”
Tip: Practice simple sounds with your baby – “maa, daa”.
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.