There’s no exact age when your child should begin talking. Some children start earlier than others, but eventually most of them figure it out. While it’s good to encourage your children to speak, take care not to push them too hard. If you make the experience uncomfortable, they won’t want to try. Here are some ways you can gently encourage your kids to speak.
1. Ask lots of questions – Throw out questions all day long as you spend time with your baby. “Should we go to the bank now?” “Do you think Aunt Tracy would like this card?” “How many towels did I fold?” It may seem like you’re talking to yourself, but by asking questions and looking toward your baby, you’re making him feel a part of the conversation.
2. Narrate your day – When you aren’t asking direct questions, talk about what’s going on or what you’re about to do. “OK, we’re off to the store now.” “Let’s get these toys cleaned up before your brother gets home.” “Look at that cute baby in the mirror!”
3. Read books together – So you don’t spend the whole day feeling silly talking to someone who can’t respond, give language practice to your baby by reading lots of books. Make this a habit so you instill a love of books as well.
4. Let him speak – When your baby does try to make some sounds, give him your undivided attention and stay silent. Let me him to know you want to hear what he has to say, even if it doesn’t make sense yet.
5. Reply to everything – When your baby makes a sound, reply to it as if it were actual language. Your baby might gurgle a few times, but respond with something like, “Yes, it is a nice day out.” This will teach your baby that language is a social thing and it’s something we do together.
6. Turn off the TV – To young brains, people on the television are not the same as people in real life. Babies do not get the same information and learn the same behaviors from television people or voices. Turn off the TV so people in your home are more likely to talk to one another.
7. Sing nursery rhymes – Children’s songs (think “Row, row, row your boat”) are simple with repetitive phrases that encourage children to sing along. Their simplicity allows kids to remember the lyrics so they can practice.
Written by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the Woombie Baby Swaddle
Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.
Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.
Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!
For more information, visit www.woombie.com.
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