When you first experience your baby begin to talk it is one of the most magical of milestones. First babbling then actual words begin to emerge with meaning and before you know it you are communicating a completely different way.
It takes time to reach the stage where your baby is having a verbal conversation with you, but early signs emerge that it will be happening soon. Some of their babbling may include actions that help you realize what they’re babbling about. This may come in the form of raising their arms to signify that they want you to hold them or pick them up. They also may smile if you show them a toy they want to play with. These are what we call nonverbal attempts at talking. It is all part of the process.
It is important to watch and listen to the sounds your baby makes. If you say, “I love you” to them, they may try to imitate this with sounds. Reactions are also extremely important when your baby attempts to talk, as reactions from you will give them a non-verbal indication of what is going on. If they almost say a word, praise them so they know they’re on the right track.
When your baby starts making an attempt to get something they want using sounds, instead of just handing them what they want, point to the object and ask in the form of a sentence if that’s what they want. Routine talks like this will allow the child to begin to recognize sentences, allowing them to become familiar with real words and how they connect with the item they want.
For example, if you know your child wants their blanket or toy, don’t just hand it to them. Ask them, “Do you want your blanket?” “Do you want your Pikachu toy?” Anytime they want this, they’ll recognize the same word in that sentence that is only applied to that item. This will help them learn tremendously.
Reading aloud is also extremely important. If you take one book and spend a few weeks reading it to them, they will begin to recognize characters, names and phrases in that book. This will not only give them the chance to use their imagination, it also allows them to familiarize themselves much like they would do with their toys.
You should also narrate most of the tasks you do with your child. If you’re dressing them, make sure you narrate what you’re putting on their feet in the form of a sentence. Also do this with food, cleaning up and other habitual moments throughout the day.
It is important not to act too controlling. Parents often think that they should be interacting with their child 100% of the time. Allowing them to play independently and familiarize themselves with a toy is equally as important. If you hover over a child too much, you can cause them to parrot you rather than learn from their own experiences. All in all, it’s important that you don’t rush your child and that you simply encourage and listen to their baby talk carefully