Tips To Get Your Baby Talking And Socializing

Eager to hear your baby utter her first words? Although parenthood has taught us all that you can’t force a baby or toddler to do anything sooner than she’s ready, here are 10 things that can help get your tiny tot talking.
Michelle Bruns Maffei

According to Mellisa Essenburg, M.S., CCC-SLP, “Between 4-6 months of age infants begin to babble using double syllables such as “baba” or “mama” and using vocalizations to express pleasure or displeasure. These are precursor skills to the first words.”

Looking for more specifics? “The stages they go through include; vocalizing vowel sounds (0-3 months), reduplicated babbling which means repeating the same consonant sound over and over ie. bababa, dadada, (4-6 months),  increased babbling with more sound mixing (6-9 months), jargon which is when a baby sounds like he is talking in his own language (10-12 months), and true words (10-18 months),” offers Isa Marrs, MA CCC-SLP. “A baby's first word usually comes right around their 1 year birthday.”

Want to move things along? Here are 10 tips that may help give her the boost that she needs to get out her first words.

Engage in some gab
Even from her first coo, you can engage in “conversations” with your bundle of joy. Respond to the sweet sounds she makes, but make sure you give her a turn to respond. She’ll begin to understand, even at this early age, that communication is a give and take.

Talk to your tot
Speaking to your sweet pea about everyday things will help build her vocabulary beyond the baby talk most of us can’t resist using. The extra attention will not be shunned by this little one!

Answer her cries
Before your babe can build the Ivy League vocabulary you can’t wait for her to put to good use, she’ll use cries to communicate with you. When you respond to her cries, it teaches her that when she communicates, you’re listening. And, once you get to know her “hungry” cries from her “tired” cries, everyone will be happier faster!

Chit chat
Sometimes it’s the small things that make a big difference, especially when it comes to communicating with your baby. From telling her you’re changing her diaper to letting her know the steps you’re taking to make her next meal, it’s the small things she’ll pick up along the way that help her build an understanding about linking what’s being said to what is being done. The added bonus is that she may be able to interact sooner than she can verbalize, so keep the chit chat flowing.

Sing a little song
Even if you cannot carry a tune, the sound of the same lyrics being sung over and over again will be music to her ears. In the process, the repetition of the words in the songs you’re singing will be the first step in her memorizing her favorite words.

Read to her
Kids can show an interest in books sooner than you think. Try reading her favorite board book to her as often as she’ll sit still, and just like the concept behind singing her favorite songs, the repetition will help her build her word base.

Describe what she’s doing
Whether she’s reaching for your face or crying because she’s tired, verbalizing what she’s doing and feeling may help her put it into words when she’s ready to talk. She’ll also feel validated, too.

Repeat yourself
If you’re going to be prepared for your tiny tot’s preschool years, you’d better get used to repeating yourself. Good news is, getting practice in now repeating things over and over again to your growing infant will actually give them a boost toward their first words! Repetition is the key to learning anything, and her first words are no exception.

Encourage her every try
When she does begin to babble, even if her first words are only decodable by mom and dad, giving her credit for her efforts and help boost her self confidence, as well as aid her in her pursuit of the English language.

Baby sign language
The debate as to whether or not teaching your baby sign language delays their verbalization skills will go on until eternity, but there’s no arguing that giving your kiddo the tools to communicate anyway she can will surely cut down on her frustration.

Parents can do what they can to encourage their baby to speak her first words, but remember that all babies develop differently. Although you can be your baby’s biggest cheerleader, don’t push; their frustration may only lead to a delay. In the mean time, embrace her infant-style language at this moment, because she’ll be talking up a storm before you know it!

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Tags: babbling talking

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