3 Habits Parents Should Use for Early Speech Development

May 21, 2016
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Parents are in awe when they hear their baby’s first words! I still remember what my daughter’s first word was and when she said it. It’s a milestone that parents remember forever. But how does a parent encourage speech, especially as they’re dealing with tiny newborns and infants? It can feel silly to speak to your newborn, but remember: we are the model our children learn from, so why should newborns be any different? If infants start cooing at two months old and babbling at typically six months old, aren’t they using their own little type of speech?

Yes! Absolutely!

Now, while many speech delays are due to hearing issues, issues with cognitive development and other factors, you may not be able to prevent your child from having a speech delay, but as a parent you can certainly encourage and help your child’s development of language from the very start!

1-  Talk to Your Child Right From the Womb

Playing music and speaking to your unborn child may seem silly, but start early! According to research, babies can retain memory of what they hear in the womb after birth! Isn’t that amazing?

2- Narrate Your Day

Some may have thought I was crazy but, I narrated my day to my daughter right from birth. I would tell her what I was doing– typically, cleaning, cooking and other chores, and explain to her what we would be doing that moment, whether it be getting ready for bath or waiting for daddy to come home.

While my daughter may have been primed to be an early speaker because her mom (me) has been garrulous since childhood, I am sure giving my daughter a language-rich environment helped.

3-  Language- Rich Environment

Creating a language-rich environment is not hard parents!

Try:

  • Using songs for almost every activity– find one already made, or create your own! My daughter’s father had a special one for bath time that was sang for what seemed like forever!
  • Read, read, read! Baby books are short and colorful for a reason– so read with your baby! Also, having plenty of books around is a great way to create a language-rich environment
  • Speak to your child as much as possible, and not in baby talk. Sure, we all have our cutesy words and phrases with our little ones, but overall, use regular old adult language for your babies! (Minus the bad words, of course.)

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