As long as you talk to your babies and keep them interested, you can’t go wrong.
- Talk to your baby while you are pregnant. Children can recognize the voices of parents and other family members that it has heard while in the womb.
- Find a multilingual environment. Different languages follow different rules of stress and intonation. Studies have shown that your newborn will have the ability to identify their native tongue.
- Sing educational songs. While it is unlikely that your child will learn the song you are singing in the way young children or adults do, familiarization with common childhood songs may encourage their learning of it after being born.
- Respond to your baby. Your baby likely won’t be able to articulate words until they are between the ages of 10 and 13 months. Instead, they will coo and cry as a means of communication. Respond to these as you would normally.
- Take cues from your child. This is especially important while they are learning to coordinate their speaking with new vocabulary. They might make a certain noise or cry when they are hungry or needs to be changed. Respond to this as you normally would with spoken language.
- Describe what you are doing. When you interact with your baby or are doing something in front of them, describe the process as you do it.
- Describe what your baby is doing. If they’re clapping their hands, say “You’re clapping so well, Josh!” When they get excited to see a family member coming toward them, say “There’s Dada, Meg! Are you so happy to see Dada?
- Speak with your child regularly. You may think that you are encouraging overly talkative behavior when you narrate daily life to your child, but this is not the case.Try not to worry about that, because your child will hear and understand a great deal, and may even pick up on your hesitancy.
- Do some articulation exercises with your child. Difficult phrases can trip even experienced speakers up, and these can be fun exercises for your child to practice. You might repeat difficult daily expressions that you’ve become tongue tied over, or you might try some simple tongue twisters.
As long as you talk to your kids and keep them interested, you can’t go wrong.
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Oliver & Kim