10 Baby Language Tips for Boosting Speech Development

10 Baby Language Tips you simply must use for speedy results

The thing I like most about sharing baby language tips is that they are mostly short and sweet. Practical and with a lot of punch. Immediately useful. You get the picture

Let's look at these 10 tips in turn.

More About Language Development...

Baby Talk

Early Childhood

Toddlers

Preschoolers

Development Stages

Importance of reading

Great activities

Helpful games

Using games

Games are a way to help children learn to speak.  Hand clapping (‘peek-a-boo’), repetition (nursery rhymes), and chanting songs (jump-rope games) are fun.  As soon as a child can sit up and wave his arms, you can teach him to clap or move his arms to the rhythm of the song or game. 

For example, ‘Ride a cock horse’ is a game that a child will enjoy.  These are tactile messages being sent to the brain.  The rhythm of language, through auditory and tactile methods, will reinforce the visual. 


Everyday activities

Everyday activities are great moments in helping the child learn to speak.  Regardless of how old the child is, he knows about eating, bathing, and dressing.  These are perfect times to teach vocabulary.  Every item has a name, and every action has a name. 

For example, when feeding, talk to the child about what you are doing, that it’s good for him, and he will like it.  For a one-year old on your hip, “We’re having a snack.  Do you want some bananas? Mmm. Bananas are good!” baby language tips
 

Baby language tips and activities home use

Over 55 home activities for immediate and everyday use... mealtime, indoor & outdoor play, car time, night time routines... and more.

Educational teasing

For a two-year old, say, “Sam, please get the yellow banana and put it on the plate.  Can you say ‘yellow banana’? … (pause for response) … Can you say ‘purple banana’?”

Your child will enjoy this teasing - and the chance to see how well he can repeat.  Make this a fun event.  If it’s not, just carry on as usual and don’t worry whether or not he can say the words correctly.  He’s learning how to carry on a conversation.

Cleverly asking

When you think the child knows the words for items in the house or his clothes, instead of telling, ask him what they are.  For example, “This is a …?” and point to the chair, door, or other object.  Asking the child to find something and bring it to you is another game. 

For example, “Find mommy’s keys,” or “Please bring me the remote.”  A remote or cell phone tends to have more appeal than a book or pillow. 

Only do this for a short time, though.  Don’t tire the child or it will no longer be a game, but drudgery.  He isn’t a circus clown- don’t show off to friends and neighbors.  This is a fun family interaction.baby language tips

Allow poking and prodding     

Babies can see only short distances, so it’s important that you keep close eye contact when talking to your baby.  Allow them to stick their (clean) fingers in your mouth and feel your lips

They aren’t just playing.  They are using tactile methods to feel your mouth.  Later on, they will imitate your expressions and try to form words. 

Older ones can put their fingers in your mouth to feel your tongue when you say “s” and “m”.  Lips aren’t the only things a child can touch.  For older children, especially those struggling with “th” – in teeth or those- have them put their fingers on your voice box to feel the vibrations (also for “f”, “v”).baby language tips
 

Language sounds         

Some thoughts on babbling vs. baby talk: making sounds to explore the nuances of language is normal

Children make up their own “language” when they want to be “different” or just can’t think of the words they want to say.  Baby talk is a judgment call.  You are trying to teach the child to speak English correctly. 

Baby talk must be unlearned eventually and the correct language learned, so why make it harder on the child? 

If you set the example by speaking correctly, the child will be farther along than the other children who have to unlearn the baby talk.  In a brief moment of fun, you can “shock” the child with your baby talk.  But it should be clear to the child that you are obviously pretending. baby language tips


Keep sentences simple         

Speak with the child on his level.  You may understand complex ideas, but your child might not.  “I’m going with Aunt Martha to the store.  Do you want to go to the store with me?” is probably easier to understand than “We are out of condiments and we need Mucilage.  Do you want to go with me?” 

Vary the sentence length, though, to keep variety.  “I am eating.  I am talking.  Will you go home?” gets boring.  “I am eating, now.  Later, I will talk to Dad.  Where are you going?” has more variety. 

The child should be able to hear you speak to other adults in an adult-level conversation, though.  Use your best judgment. 


Right things at the right times         

Teaching your child to speak (or do anything else) should always be fun. 

On some days, there will be sickness or other issues to deal with.  Skip the “formal teaching” on those days.  Children learn many things on their own. 

While it is important, it is not crucial that you are there every day with a smile and a song and a story.  Take time for yourself and enjoy being with your child.  Your love for him is much more important. babylanguagetips


Bilingual language development tips

If you are bilingual, the process is the same.  You can say the word in English and then repeat it in the other language, or alternate days between speaking English and the other language.  Immersion, whether in English or another language, is the goal.


Baby language tips for when your child is different

A note on children who cannot receive messages through the usual auditory, visual, or tactile methods: you can still teach your child, but the manner in which you teach them will be slightly different. 

A blind child depends more on auditory and tactile input.  A deaf child depends more on visual and tactile cues.  A child who is physically hindered will surely appreciate the visual and auditory cues. 

The most important thing to remember is the child must feel loved, happy, and secure- regardless of whether you are teaching him to speak, read, use crayons, or dress himself.  Make sure you enjoy your child!

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