Language

It can be challenging to know how you, as a parent, can help build your baby’s speech and language skills when they are just newborns.  Here is a list of suggestions for encouraging communication with your infant:

  • Encourage your baby to make a variety of sounds such as ba, owh, da, eei by saying the same sounds back to them.
  • Keep your baby’s attention by looking at her and talking to her with sounds similar to those she’s making. Use different pitches and tones in your speech.
  • Laugh with your baby and have fun making different faces together.
  • Teach your baby to imitate you by clapping your hands, blowing kisses, and playing finger games like pat-a-cake, peek-a-boo, and the itsy-bitsy-spider.
  • Help your baby learn other sounds too like car sounds and animal sounds “The doggie says woof-woof.”
  • Use gestures such as waving goodbye, pointing and hand movements to help your baby understand the words you are saying.
  • When your baby makes sounds to you, pay attention, they are saying something. Acknowledge their attempt to communicate by saying something back.
  • Help your baby use their first words in other ways: “Here is mama. Mama loves you. Where is baby? Baby up?”
  • Read to your child. Talk about the pictures in a favourite book. Encourage naming and pointing to familiar objects in the book.
  • Daily routines like dressing, bathing and mealtimes are great times for talking.
  • Don’t forget to listen. Give your baby time to talk and take his turn.
  • Look at your baby when you talk together.
  • Talk about all the activities and things around you.

Remember: Talking to your baby helps develop a close bond and enhances self-esteem.

learning