How Can Parents Help Baby Learn To
How Can Parents Help Baby Learn To Talk?
The following steps can help your baby develop better speech and language skills.
1.Start baby talk early: Baby talk is a childish way of framing words and sentences to make them more appealing to a baby. Start baby talk early, like in the first three months so that they can grasp bits of language. Research shows that babies, who indulge in baby talk earlier in life, have a wider vocabulary by toddler-hood.
2.Read and sing: These stir the little one’s interest towards words and sentences. Dedicate adequate reading and singing time for stimulating language development.
3.Encourage imitation: Let the baby copy your words and babble them out loud. It may sound gibberish, but as the baby steps into toddler-hood, their copying would become more accurate, and lay the foundation for meaningful sentence formation.
4.Describe people and objects: Point at objects and tell the baby their names, and introduce the baby to people with their names or relation. Using nouns strengthens object-noun association and significantly improves a baby’s vocabulary.
5.Ask questions and have conversations: Once your baby is a toddler, ask them questions when they want something or come to you with some problem. Questions work as stimulants to make the baby think for an answer. By three years, you can have some lengthy conversations that further polish their skills.
6.Use a language that you are most comfortable with: The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASLHA) recommends parents speak to their baby in a language they find convenient such as their native tongue. It helps reduce language clutter for the baby while also letting parents assess their baby’s progress.
These measures would ensure that your baby develops language skills easily. But you must clear any roadblocks along the way.
Things To Do For The Baby’s Proper Language Development
Keep in mind the following points when your baby is honing the skill of language:
1.Let the baby experiment: Allow the baby to take time to learn and try the new words that they have just learned. Let them experiment with the consonant sounds, combining them to improve their skills.
2.Turn off background noise: When reading and singing to a baby, cut down the background noise from radio or TV. It helps the baby stay focused on the activity and prevent distractions.
3.Limit screen time: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discourages the use of digital display by toddlers below 18 months except for some video-chatting once in a while. Extensive research demonstrates that babies who spend a lot of time with screens (TV, smartphones, and tablets), have delayed language development. The time spent by the baby or toddler on a screen could be better spent in verbal interaction with parents.
There could be scenarios when a baby does not seem to be on track with language development. But, you can work towards improving it.
What If The Baby Does Not Talk?
Sometimes, babies do not seem to maintain pace with language development.
But some delay is not alarming. Delay in talking is not always an indicator of a problem. Some toddlers just take additional time than others. You need to be patient and encourage the little one.
However, in some cases:
Premature babies may talk later: They may not start talking at the same age as a full-term infant. Do remember that premature infants just take a bit longer than regular infants to learn language skills, but pick up eventually.
Maternal and neonatal problems can delay speech: Complications such as maternal infections during pregnancy, neonatal infections, drug side-effects, and even poor health and weight at birth can delay speech development. Such babies have a slower progression rate when it comes to overall language skills.
If you doubt undue delay in speech, then look out for signs of delay in speech and language development in infants.