Language Development: All About Practical Ways For Getting Baby Talking

Why you should take your baby's speech and language development seriously

"What are the main reasons for encouraging my baby's speech and language development? Is there any real benefit in this?"

Those are typical questions parents often post on this site. And since I'm no speech development expert, I'd much rather get a knowledgeable person to give you the answers.

So I started searching and found Margaret. She's an expert in her own right, qualified midwife and nurse and also the mother of two children, one of whom had developmental difficulties. She has ages of practical experience in childcare and worked extensively with physically and mentally handicapped children.

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So, back to our question and her answer...

First of all, because it should be the most natural thing in the world to want your child to succeed and to want to be able to communicate with them. This isn't about being pushy parents or any one up man ship.

Children learn what they hear, and if no one speaks to them how can they respond?

I used to have a baby clinic in a third world country where infant mortality was high. One afternoon I heard my visit being announced by the mullah at the mosque over the loud speaker normally used to call the faithful to prayer.

At first I laughed at my description 'The woman who talks to babies'. Then I thought about the matter a little more deeply and asked a few questions. Apparently no one talked to babies until they were up and walking as only then were the parents fairly certain that this child would survive. I'm glad to say that during the time I was there no child died and I continued to talk to even the tiniest new born in the hope that the message would get through.

Home Activities for Early Speech & Language Development

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

You can never start too early encouraging your baby's language development.

I've just been reading an article about speech development which tells me that this happens in the first few months of life - yes it does, but its very beginnings are from about 18 weeks after conception by which time your baby can already hear.

By the time he is born your infant will already have had 4 ½ months of hearing the sounds of home - his parent's voices as well as those of the rest of the family and also all the familiar everyday sounds.

Those first months are about making sense of all this - of fitting faces to voices; of learning the difference between Mom and Dad and then gradually other family members and friends.

Of learning to smile in response to a smile, and a little later to understand such difficult concepts as 'No' and 'Later'. Babies practice a lot - at only a few weeks old they begin to coo to themselves and then come long strings of syllables - meaningless at first, but then when they realize that certain sounds - especially dadada and mama - cause wild excitement among the larger people they begin to repeat them.

Later they will string two words together 'Me drink'. And then finally short sentences, before toddlerhood, gradually developing the language skills they need to cope in the outside world.

All babies go through the same process, but they don't all go at the same speed... the same goes for language development!

This often has nothing at all to do with intelligence levels. That is only one among a number of factors involved. We often find that an older sibling will speak earlier than a younger one, maybe because she got all the attention or perhaps because by the time number two came along the older sister was doing all the speaking for her?

And girls tend to find speech and language development easier than most boys

But whether or not your child is naturally a chatterer or prefers to sit and listen eventually they are going to need to communicate effectively - learning such nuances for instance as when to take a turn in a conversation.

But how can they do that unless they have taken part right from an early age?  How can they learn to listen unless you take time to talk to them?

Even as young as two months you can sit a child on your knee and enjoy a story book. They won't understand everything of course, but they will listen to every word.

Babies are greedy for more than milk.

They want to be included and they want to learn all they can from the world around them. They start off to test things by putting them in their mouths... so, why not try putting some words in and let them test those too? You will surely also be encouraging your child's speech and language development.

Shortcuts to your specific language development questions

There are many relevant pages on this site... and all of them you could be looking at next. But there is a shortcut.

So, to save yourself a lot of time and effort, type what you're looking for in the search box below and click Search.

Also see...

  1. 5 Everyday Activities for Improving Delayed Development

  2. 3 Effortless Ways to Encourage Language Development in Infants

  3. Speech and Language milestones

Any Language Development Questions or Comments?

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