There is so much that goes into child development and all children develop at different times. Some baby’s start talking really early, while others may start talking latter in their 2’s. While children all develop at different times we have some suggestions to encourage your baby to start talking.
While our video discusses the top reasons Jessica’s littlest one is talking early, focusing mainly on how we encourage our kids through our reactions or lack thereof; it is important to note that every baby develops differently based on their interests. What do they want to focus on learning?
Why My Baby is Already Talking: Language Development for Baby
When I had all of the time in the world, no business to run, no second child to care for, my first born had all of my attention. However; today it is simply not possible to recreate that situation for my second child. The only solution is to continue to do my absolute best, and I see it pay off at dinner time when he responds to our questions in his serious and happy baby babbles.
Since I’m “home schooling” my 4 year old, and have time scheduled out for his daily lessons, I am also finding ways to make these same activities learning opportunities for my 6 month old. He is included with our music time, our story time, and arts and crafts time. During my 4 year old’s breaks and free play times, I work one on one with the baby, and when the baby is asleep I focus fully on my 4 year old. While it may sound like all my time is dependent on my children, I also do what I can to give myself some mommy time too. Don’t feel overwhelmed or guilty when you need some personal time!
So, do your best. Love you little one(s). Be kind to yourself and your children. Don’t compare your child to other kids, including siblings. Development happens at different times for different babies. Each baby is born with their own life circumstances. My first had no siblings, now my second has a brother he wants to emulate by screaming when he’s excited, and bouncing every moment he’s awake to try and keep up with the energy of my oldest. One baby had to get used to sharing me. While the other was born sharing his time with me. There’s going to be lots of differences. I see that my second is much more excitable and loves to talk. He says four words as of today and is signing “all done.” He also says a bunch of stuff only he understands as he tries to be part of the conversation.
When my oldest was 6 months old he was very different. He could say small baby words and use simple sign language, but he was reserved and only spoke when he felt it was necessary. To this day my oldest son is a perfectionist and has to do everything just right or else he’s upset. No matter how many times we say it’s okay to get something wrong or not win a game, you don’t have to be the fastest or smartest person in the room, he still feels otherwise. I have a feeling my second child will not share those same feelings. The baby seems like he’ll just be happy to be included, and enjoy things for the sake of enjoying them, without needing to win or do things exactly right.
Here’s some tips and activities to encourage your baby to start talking
Always narrate what you’re doing.
Every chore, when you go on a walk, every action and reaction you make. Tell them what you’re doing, how you’re feeling, everything you can think of. When you can think of anything else to say, sing.
Talk about what color everything is and use lots of repetition daily.
So that means go over the same toys every day, count things, tell you baby the sounds the objects or animals make, and tell them the colors you’re pointing at. And Repeat. Do this as often as you can throughout the day as is interesting to you little one. Make sure baby can watch your face and how your mouth moves. Avoid screen time as a learning tool until after they have the foundation they need to communicate, meaning several words and even then make it very limited. Screen time causes language delays. They cannot learn as much from screens as they can with physical play and seeing your face moving in front of them.
Find time for music daily.
Sing songs. Figure out your baby’s favorites and sing them over and over again. You may get bored, but the repetition is great for your baby’s developing mind. Add movements to the songs, and use the same movements every day and baby will start to mimic you when they are older.
Designate a story time at least once per day
If not two or three times per day. Again, figure out baby’s favorites. Repeat their favorites as often as they seem interested. Babies AND toddlers love to hear the same books over and over again. This is because their brains are getting new information they need to process. It again may feel like torture, but force your boredom aside and read it again for the thousandth time. It really does improve their language and communication skills.
Start sign language early.
Sign for milk from the beginning. Ask your baby if he or she wants “more” with the sign for more. Show them signs for “all done”, “thank you”, and yes. Also wave to your baby as a greeting for “hello” and “goodbye”. At meal times when your baby starts solid foods always continue to sign “more”, “all done”, and “thank you”. Repetition again is key to success. Show them what you mean and start this as soon as you introduce food (if you can remember to do this). This will help your baby learn to communicate non-verbally early on and will allow them to tell you what they want sooner, which translates into a happier, understood baby, who is now more interested in learning other ways to further communicate with you.
Be encouraging! Get EXCITED
Every time baby says something, do not interrupt, look at them, nod to acknowledge them, and cheer for them when they’re done, or talk back to them like you understood everything they just said. This will get baby motivated to continue practicing new sounds, and learning new ways to talk to you. It will also deepen your bond and connect. Socializing is an important part of our growth and development, so feeling heard by another person is so important to your baby.
Always model how you want your little one to communicate with you.
This is why we do “High, Low” in my home. We take the time out of the day to stop and listen to each other’s day. What was the best part? What was the worst part? We celebrate each other’s successes and empathize with each other’s failures. It’s important to talk to your kids the way you want them to speak to you. They will model your patterns and behaviors. Your children become a mirror into how you speak to them and others. They watch and listen to everything you do, even when you think they’re not paying any attention.