Did you know…
From aged 4-7 months babies are trying hard to communicate without crying. They experiment with sounds they’re able to make with their mouths and spend time babbling and imitating you. Encourage them!
Babies start to understand the fundamentals of communication and know your soothing tones are comforting, and your cross tone means something is wrong. They recognise their name first, pause when they hear ‘no’, and will start associating words with familiar objects.
They love vocal interactions so if you copy their sounds it gives them confidence and encourages them to keep experimenting. I used to carry my kids around the house and point to something and say its name. Just one word repeated slowly, then move to the next thing. Babies understand words long before they can physically say them so cut back on the baby talk and use words correctly. Have a conversation and wait for your baby to ‘answer’. The volleying back and forth needs to be encouraged. For instance, “Do you want a teddy? (pause) This is your teddy,” as you show it to your baby. Wait for a response and pause long enough to allow them the chance to reply. Then ask another question. And please – don’t let your baby have a dummy (pacifier) during waking hours. They miss the chance to experiment with sounds when their mouth is occupied. You may find your baby is taking longer to talk than another baby who does not use one, or develop a speech impediment if they continue using one well after their two’s.
Look at the concentration on this bub’s face! He is loving the closeness to his mum’s face and fascinated by her moving mouth that is producing sounds. She is smiling as well as speaking, and the bub is reassured by her positive, happy interaction.
Where do parents go for legitimate advice? As a qualified teacher I have access to incredible resources, based on scientific research and backed up by academia. Google is not the whole answer. I offer you a credible, valuable and scientific alternative that is further supported through observation and experience.
Disclaimer: Due to the limit of words statements will not be referenced. Sweeping statements and general comments are not fleeting, throw-away opinions on a subject. They are backed by scientific research and a vast academic resource.