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5 things You Can Do to Encourage Speech and Language Development in Your Baby

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 5 things to Encourage Speech and Language Development in Your Baby

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There are many things we can do to encourage speech and language development in our babies.  Below you will find a condensed list that can easily be incorporated into your current daily routine and wil add a little fun!   As speech and language skills are innate, you may find some of these suggestions instincutual, which they might be for many of us, but it is helpful to see them outlined as a guide.  This is especially true when we are faced with challenges of parenthood.  In those early days we are working so hard to get everyting right in terms of feeding and scheduling we may need a little guidance to get us focused on speech and language.  

  1. When interacting with your baby make sounds like "ma-ma" "ba-ba" and encourage your baby to answer back.  Anytime is a good time to try this out, my personal favorite is diaper changing time... Sounds like ba-ba and ma-ma are called biliabial sounds because when the sound is produced, the lips are touching, these sounds are the typically the first to emerge.
  2. Try to maintain eye contact with your baby when engaging with him or her- Maintaining eye contact is one of the components of the pragmatics of speech and language and helps your child learn the rules of how we interact socially
  3. Encourage your baby to use gestures like "wave bye-bye" to convey that the gesture has meaning 
  4. It is never too early to start reading to your baby.  Books like, “Baby's First Words” with big pictures and bright colors are easy for you to label and easiest for your baby to understand because there is only one object per page.
  5. Monkey see monkey do - Identify body parts, "Show me your nose," "Where's mommy's nose?" and songs that have accompanying hand gestures like Pat-a-Cake and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!

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Published:
25 November 2013 15:26
by Lauren Turk, MS, CCC-SLP