Did you know that being able to distinguish between different syllables is a crucial step in language development? In their first months of life, your child will learn to distinguish between sounds that matter in their native language and those that do not.
Talk to your baby
Recent studies have shown that there are emotional and cognitive benefits to simply talking to your baby.
The characteristic half-speaking, half-singing tone parents instinctively adopt when speaking to babies encourages an emotional bond with their infant. In fact, this way of communicating attracts baby’s attention and helps them understand emotional communication while, at the same time, encouraging language development. Plus, it seems that infants who listen to their parents speaking to them usually learn words more quickly compared to other children. That’s why child development experts recommend talking to your baby as often as possible throughout the day.
Stimulate your child’s language learning
Here are a few tips you can use to stimulate your child’s language learning.
Be sure to respond to your child as soon as they make a sound
For example, repeat the sound that you heard, then add on a few more words. (Hello! Ga-ga-ga… is my little sweetheart ready for his bottle?)
Use simple and descriptive language
Short phrases and basic vocabulary can help a lot with memorization. This way, you’ll help them enrich their vocabulary even before they learn to speak.
Use the same word consistently to describe an object
To help your child learn about their universe, avoid using different words to describe the same thing. For example, always call a cat a cat instead of saying kitten, pussycat, kitty, etc.
Reward their first attempts to produce sounds
Celebrate your baby’s efforts with smiles and cuddles—it’s the best way to encourage them to continue.
Give your baby time to respond
Long before your child can speak, they will already have started to understand the rules of conversation such as I speak, you speak, I answer. Say something using just a few words, then watch for your baby’s reaction. This way, you will give them a chance to converse with you.
Sing them nursery rhymes
Song lyrics are real treasure chests of vocabulary. What’s more, you’ll be surprised to what extent nursery rhymes and children’s songs respect the natural rhythm and musicality of baby talk.
Look at picture books with your baby
Point out and name objects and colours on the page. And don’t hesitate to pick up some touch-and-feel books that are safe for newborns or toddlers. By manipulating them and putting them in their mouth, baby will amuse themselves and discover the pleasures of books and reading early on. Plus, the earlier you encourage your baby to recognize sounds and words, the more you support your baby’s cognitive development!