The first way for a baby to communicate is crying for food, comfort and company. Babies development of speech and language varies. However, healthcare professionals will keep track of milestones and normal development and decide if the baby may need some extra help. A delay of speech may be caused by hearing loss or a speech or language disorder. Children that grow up with two or more languages, may take a longer time to start talking, but will probably benefit from it in the long run. If you feel like your baby’s speech is not developing, consult your healthcare specialist. Below you can read about ways to stimulate your baby’s speech and language skills.
Hearing your baby’s first word is a milestone you will probably never forget. But how can you stimulate your baby to start speaking? Talking to your baby right from birth will both help with learning to speak, and gain a larger vocabulary. Like with almost everything else, practice makes perfect. The more practice your baby gets from hearing words and making connections to what they mean, the more likely the baby will be able to say them.
Read a book together
Look at pictures and read baby books together. It will stimulate your baby and help him or her learn. It might take a long time before you will hear the first word, but if the baby enjoys this time and shows interest in the pictures, there is no reason to stop. Touch-and-feel books are a good way of helping your baby learn and understand his or her senses.
You might think that hearing words from the TV will increase the vocabulary, but that is usually not the case. Dialogue and the social interaction helps the speech development. Smile and react positively to your baby babbling. It’s encouraging and more likely that your baby will do it again, when seeing the parents positive reactions to the sound he or she is making.
Carry your baby
Babywearing is a great way to stimulate your baby. Carry your baby when you are doing things around the house and talk about what you are doing. Go for a walk outside and point out the things you see and repeat their names. A car, a tree, a house and a bird are all easy words that you can explore together. Carrying your baby will stimulate him or her and strengthen the bond between you.
Like everything else, the more effort you put into it the better the results.