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 am interested in sounds and where they come from. I even make noises just to get your attention”
Tip: Babies love to have fun with people you know. Take time to stop and listen to sounds outside.
Play & Chat
Your Baby: “I still love looking at faces and smile back at people who are smiling at me”
Tip: Babies love “peek- a- boo” and “tickle” but also still love quiet time looking at books and listening to your voice.
Your Baby: “I understand simple words like “up” and I know “bye bye” means someone is leaving”
Tip: Talk to your baby all the time in simple sentences so they can learn what the words mean.
Your Baby: “I listen to you carefully when you speak and I “talk” back to you using babbling sounds”
Tip: When you talk to your baby give them time to make some noise so they learn to say something back.
Your Baby: “I make lots of different sounds like clicks and bubbles and try to copy sounds you make”
Tip: Making sounds is important so try and copy the sounds your baby makes to encourage them to make 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.