Ever wondered why your baby’s first words are something like ‘ma’ or ‘ba’? Baby language development has a scientific and logical background and is much more extensive than you might have actually thought of. Making these vowel-like and consonant-vowel sounds and several other gestures are important indicators of baby language development.
With growing age, a baby’s language develops and achieves desirable milestones which can be crucial pointers of the normal growth pattern. Language development happens in stages. Experts point out that there are certain indicators of baby language development.
Tips For Baby Language Development
The Major Ones Include
1.By the time your child is 3 months old, he/she may make ‘cooing’ sound, express surprise at loud noise and recognize your face.
2. By the time he/she reaches 6 months of age, he may speak repetitive syllables (like ‘ba’, ‘ba’), express pleasure or discomfort using his/her voice and listen to music.
3. By his/her first birthday, he/she may understand denial, copy words and turn into different directions.
4. When he/she is one and half years old, he/she may say few words (8-10) and recognize familiar objects and people.
5. By his/her second birthday, his/her vocabulary can increase multiple times, he/she can follow simple instructions and ask short (two word) questions.
It is important to encourage language development among babies, particularly during the first two years of life. Before a child can speak, language and use of new words and events can aid the learning process. Talking, singing and using gestures are vital components which can help your child master the art of language.
There are many other ways which can help you reach out and promote baby language development. Some important ones have been mentioned here for your guidance. You may implement the milestones as a check list for observing and analyzing the language development.
If you find a noticeable deviation in the child’s learning and speech ability, talk to your doctor. Even though some children might be late learners, speech delay can be a crucial element in a child’s developmental phase.
Reinforce Attempts To Promote Development Through Gesture
Expert suggestion points to use of gestures in promoting language in babies. Maintenance of eye contact, response with speech and vocalization using different patterns are some significant ways to inculcate language development in babies. You can raise your voice’s pitch when asking a question, copy your baby’s laughter and facial expressions and wave goodbye to convey the meaning.
While reinforcing attempts to learning speech, attach words to objects as labeling helps babies learn better. If you can engage your child with something which is already the focus of his interest, rather than trying to redirect attention, it can produce more meaningful results.
Teach To Reproduce Actions and Words
An important way of learning is through copying. Teach him to copy your actions like clapping hands and throwing kisses. When your child seems receptive, you can try the finger games like ‘peek-a-boo’ and the ‘itsy-bitsy-spider’. Acting out songs helps babies learn to share the songs’ movements. This may help them learn new words and facilitate their ability to hear and lean language.
Introduce animal sounds and associate a sound with specific meaning. The doggie saying ‘woof-woof’, the cat saying ‘meow-meow’ and the snake saying ‘hiss-hiss’ can be good ones to start with. Use repetitions to enable your baby have more and more opportunities to learn a new word.
Talk, Talk And Talk
Use more and more words to interact with your child. Use words to describe an action. Use words to convey your child’s actions. This can help him/her better understand the situation and relate with it. Talk when you bathe him/her or dress him. Talk about and while doing a thing. Introduce colors gradually.
Read to Your Child
Reading performs manifold functions. Firstly, it promotes language development. Secondly, it enables spending quality time with your child to get that special feel of bonding. You may not read meticulously by following each and every line; reading can be simply a description of pictures in the book following a pattern of the mentioned story.
While reading, involve your baby and encourage pointing out familiar objects. Get good books with large pictorial representation without too much of detailing. Board books can be suited for babies and small children.
Appreciate Attempts To Communicate
Even though you might feel that your child is too small to understand appreciation, provide generous acknowledgement when he tries to communicate and convey you something meaningfully.
As parents and caretakers, you have a crucial role to play in your child’s life. Your response and involvement with your baby can help in promoting his language development skills during the early years of learning which can remain throughout his life.