When my daughters arrived home from the hospital, I was overjoyed. For 9 months I earlier waited for the opportunity to be able to talk to them about life and share the world with them. As I nursed, changed them, bathed them, etc I always talked to them about what I was doing. I would even ask them questions and answered the question before they were able to on their own. Throughout this engagement, they just appeared mesmerized my face and my moving lips. While their own bright eyes looked expectantly and their ears listened intently.
Here are a few tips to help develop your child’s speech:
1. Talk to your baby, even before he or she is able to respond.
Babies love to hear the voices of their parents and are learning how to develop speech and their own words before they ever utter their first words. Even when alone with your baby/babies, talk to them as much as possible. It is not only comforting to your child but it is good for you as well. It will help you stay in a better mood.
What should you talk about?
- Anything. The easiest is to talk about what you are doing.
- You can talk about the weather,
- What you plan to eat,
- How much you love your child, etc.
2. Read to your child.
Regular Cleverly Changing readers are well acquainted with my love for reading to my children. Reading is so great because it broadens children’s vocabulary, acts as a bonding moment between parents and the child, and has a calming affect on children as they get use to the patterns in your voice as you read. While you read to your baby, point to words and pictures and ask your child questions. Even before my girls were able to say words they knew how to point to pictures when they were asked questions about the books I read. As always, repetition deepens the impression so go ahead read books over and over, they will enjoy it.
3. Sing and play music.
Singing is not one of my talents, but I used to sing to my babies and they loved it. To over shadow my singing inadequacies, I often added a CD in the background to sing along to. If my baby was crying, the singing always changed their mood. Singing also helped diaper changing time go a little smoother. I also used to sing as I cleaned their gums in the morning and before I put them to sleep. When I didn’t have a song in mind I would sing the alphabets or my numbers. When singing about numbers I usually when beyond the number 10 until I reached 100. In fact, as I laid them to sleep in their crib I used to count to 100 each night before I left their rooms. If you’re trying to learn another language, this is a great time to play the audio of the language and let your child listen in as well.
4. Tummy Time Play.
As your baby grows. A few moments of tummy time while you’re watching is important. Tummy time will help your child strengthen his or her muscles and explore new things. Even if your child is unable to move, the things he or she can see will be be different. Get down on the floor with your child/children and name things in their eye-view.
Andrew and Rachel Wilson are the authors of ...