When you become a parent, you just can’t wait to reach some crucial points of your child’s development. You are most impatient to hear your baby’s first words and see your baby’s first steps. Everything „first“ about our children is so exciting and makes us feel the proudest in the world.
Some studies have shown that babies start learning their language, even before birth! Since they can hear sounds while still in the womb, they get familiar with the rhythm and melody of the language.
How to stimulate baby’s first words?
It is very interesting that children learn to communicate since they are born. At the beginning, they cry in order to make you notice their needs, and when you respond to it, that is the first form of conversation. At the age of six to eight months, you may start to listen all day long babbling. It usually consists of consonants and vowel combinations such as ba-ba or da-da. According to many studies, babies are able to connect you, as his caregiver, to the sounds he uses to call you.
From now to the first birthday, babies are like the sponge. They absorb everything they hear and feel. This is the period during which you need to speak to him a lot.
Give everything a name. Say:
- This is water – if you notice that he is thirsty, or
- This is a soap – when having a bath. It will be your most important assignment to read a lot to your child. Just fifteen minutes of reading a day will make a big difference. Sing whenever you feel like doing it.
Babies start talking somewhere between 9 and 14 months. That is the period during which he will need to express his feelings in words.
By 16th month, your boy will speak around 30 words, and a girl around 50. Don’t worry if it is less. Children are developing individually and they might not always follow the course of the majority.
When your baby comes with the wish – let him tell you what he wants. Don’t rush to fulfill his needs at once and he will understand that he must learn to speak in some way.
During the playing, act like a horse or a cow. Animal sounds can be very stimulating for your kid because they have few consonants. The time when baby’s first words appear depends a lot on your persistance and effort you put in this mission.
Toddlers will soon start to make simple sentences. They would sound like this:
- More water! or
- Give Ann!
Keep improving their language and building their vocabulary. Add some more words and repeat a sentence that is now more complex. In the previous example, it would sound like this:
- Do you want more water? or
- Would you like me to give you that doll?
Remember that it is always better to repeat improved sentences than to correct your toddlers. Moreover, try to play a game with them. Let them correct your mistakes in the sentences. Here is the example:
- Let me put on your hat!
You can say this when trying to put on his pants. He will correct you, and this is where the magic starts to happen – you will end up laughing and hugging. Still, you will go through one of the most important milestones of their childhood.
There are a few rules you need to obey to make this new skill easier to master.
- Speak slowly
- Use nouns rather than pronouns
- Repetition is the mother of skill
When is the time to get help?
Every child has its one pace of development. Don’t rush them and be patient. But, there is a point when you need to get some help from a doctor. How to be certain if you have reached it?
The best time to get help is when your child is two and a half. This is the age when even the late talkers start to speak. If your baby doesn’t use two-word sentences or doesn’t ask questions, reach your doctor for some advice. There are some tests that need to be conducted to find out the reason for these late speakers:
- Hearing tests – If there are problems with your kid’s hearing, there might also be problems with your baby’s first words.
- Developmental screenings help to find out if your child’s developmental pace fits in average.
- Speech evaluation – sometimes children hear and understand what we say, but they just don’t know how to articulate their thoughts. This is the point where they need our help.
The more you speak to your toddler, the more you sing and read to him, the sooner you’ll reach his first word. Moreover, his communication will be at a higher level, and his vocabulary will be richer. Maybe you can’t imagine it at this very moment, but listening to your child speaking nice and clear one day will make you proud more than you ever thought. Still, your baby’s first words will always remain as a beautiful memory.
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