Saturday, February 16, 2008

Helping your baby learn to talk

Babies learn an amazing number of things in their first two years and one of them is learning to talk. Those "first words" stay in a parent's memory for a lifetime.

3 months: Baby listens to your voice. He or she coos and gurgles and tries to make the same sounds you make. Help your baby learn how nice voices can be. Sing to them, talk to them, talk to others when baby is near. Baby won't understand the words, but will like your voice and your smile. Plan for quiet time, Baby needs time to babble and play quietly without TV or radio or other noises.

9/10 months: Baby understands simple words. She stops to look at you if you say "No-no". If someone askes "Where's Mommy" Baby will look for you. Baby will point, cry, or do other things to "tell" you to pick her up, or bring a toy.

18 months: Most children can say "thank you" and at least 30 other words, and can follow simple directions like "jump!". Ask your child to help you. For example, ask her to put her cup on the table. Teach your child simple songs and nursery rhymes. Encourage your child to talk to friends and family. Let your child "play telephone", and have a pretend conversation.

These are just a few excerpts and you can see more by clicking this wonderful resource for what to look for in a growing, healthy baby and when to talk with a professional if your baby does not seem to be talking like other babies. It also gives a few ideas for helping your child learn to talk, from birth to 2 years.

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