Encouraging Baby’s First Words

By Ashley | January 19, 2010
Encouraging Baby's First Words

Every parent eagerly anticipates their child’s first words. Listening to the first words makes a parent feel proud and satisfied. It is important to realize that all children will say their first words differently and at different times. However, in general, it is observed that a child will utter his first word around the age of 10-14 months. It is at this age that the child gains more control over the muscles of the tongue and lips and the child starts relating to objects and sounds.
Though the words cannot be forced out of him, there are a few things a parent can do to encourage a child to talk well.

Right from the time the child is in the womb, especially in the third trimester, he is able to listen to you. From this time on, it is a good idea to read to him, sing to him, and generally start communicating to him.

From birth, the child quickly realizes the importance of communication. Though his communication is restricted to crying, and later to laughing and smiling, he realizes that his actions bring about certain reactions from you. This lays the foundation for language and communication in the child’s mind.

Baby talk might seem like nonsense to some, but the seemingly nonsensical, high pitched sounds enable a baby to see a connection between your sounds and the way you move your lips while communicating with him. Very soon, he will start responding and repeating the sounds you make.

Start allowing the baby to hear clear vocabulary from the age of 6 months. Start naming objects and people. It will especially help to begin with objects that they are familiar with and use or see on a daily basis, for example, milk, soap, Dada, Mama, doggy, bed, and so on.

There is no debate on the importance of reading and appreciating books. Start reading to a child as early as possible. Even if he does not seem to understand at the beginning, he will soon start to appreciate and enjoy story time, and will learn to love books.

Start communicating with a child by emphasizing the important words in a sentence. You need not worry about grammar at this point. By doing this over and over again, you will see the child beginning to understand the crux of sentences; after this stage, you can slowly begin to lengthen the sentence.

Games like Show me, Peek-a-boo’, imitation, and others help the child in building up the foundation for communication.

Singing enables a child to listen to a lot of new words too.

Be dramatic and figurative in your speech with your child. Let him relate the sound to the object.

Do not be impatient or over-anxious. After all, once he begins to talk, there is no stopping him!!!

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