How to talk to an infant
Teach Your Baby to Speak
Ideas About How to Talk to Your Baby from Just Children
At Just Children, we know that learning how to talk is a very important part of your child’s development. The way they learn to communicate during the first few years of their life can have a big impact on their speech throughout their later childhood. Plus, the faster they learn to communicate effectively, the faster you can understand all their needs and unique personality traits! Let’s go over some ways that infants communicate, how you can help your baby learn to talk, and when to be concerned about their development.
Basic Ways Babies Communicate
Although it takes time for infant talking, they communicate in other ways from the day they’re born. Crying is one of the most effective ways they communicate. Babies are even able to cry in different ways depending on what they need.
Besides crying, babies also communicate via facial expressions, eye contact, staring, listening, and body language. Once your little one is around 7-8 weeks old, they will start realizing they have a voice. This is definitely an exciting stage in their speech development! At this point, they will try communicating by cooing, babbling, and making all sorts of sounds.
Tips on Teaching Your Baby to Speak
Teaching your baby how to talk can be a very exciting, fun, and rewarding experience. Here are some tips to help you and your baby during the process.
- Talk to your baby regularly. Your little one will love hearing you use baby talk (also known as parentese), so give it a try, even if you feel silly. Speaking to your baby in full sentences, with proper grammar, is very important as well. Try switching between these two different ways of speaking to your baby.
- Have “conversations” with your child. Listen to your baby coo and babble, then respond to them as if you two are chatting. Once you reply, give your baby the chance to say something again. This teaches your little one about the flow of conversation.
- Verbally identify objects around you or activities you’re doing. This will help your baby build their vocabulary. While you’re talking, you can try isolating certain words to make it easier for them to understand. (For example, simply say “apple” to your baby while you’re eating an apple.)
- Use music to help your baby understand language. You can sing to your baby, put on some music for them, or both!
- Read books to your baby. Not only will this help them with speech, it will also help them connect written and verbal language. Of course, it’s a great way to spend quality time together as well!
- Make learning speech fun with toys and games that involve language. Give your child some letter blocks, stuffed animals that speak, or other toys that are designed to help with speech development. You can also speak to your child while playing games such as house or having a tea party.
- Speak different languages while you’re around your baby. Even if it’s a different language than the primary one they’ll be speaking, it will still help them understand the structure and purpose of language in general. If you don’t speak multiple languages, you can try putting on a movie or music that’s in another language.
- Be patient and have fun! Smile and make eye contact when you’re speaking to your baby or listening to them babble. Showing your baby that you’re interested in what they’re saying will encourage them to continue.
When Should an Infant Start Talking?
During your baby’s first year, they should babble, coo, and respond to simple words like “no” or their name. The rate of speech development varies widely, but see your baby’s pediatrician if they haven’t hit these milestones and you’re worried about their learning rate.
How Can Just Children Help Teach Your Baby to Talk?
At Just Children, we know how important it is for kids to learn how to communicate effectively. In addition to providing early childhood education, Just Children Child Care Centers makes learning fun for kids! We have learning programs for children ages two months to kindergarten, so we can help your child improve their speech at various stages in their development.
Contact Just Children or Schedule a Tour
Whether it’s classroom instruction, playtime geared towards learning, or interacting with other kids, your child will have many opportunities to improve their speech here at Just Children. The friendly, knowledgeable staff at each of our eight locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey will make sure your child gets the care and attention that they need with our infant care and infant daycare programs. Contact us to schedule a tour today!