For today’s post I’ve put together a list of ten ways you can promote your child’s speech development from birth.
Some of you may be thinking that chances are your child will learn to speak at his own pace. Most likely hitting the average milestones, babbling at 4 months, saying mama or dada at 7 months, a few words by 12 months and so on.
And you’d be right. As long as your child doesn’t have a problem that is causing a speech delay than they’re sure to hit those average milestone without you taking extra steps to boost their speech development.
So again you ask, why am I writing this post?
Well, there is actually a huge benefit to advanced speech development and that is simply the ability to COMMUNICATE.
Imagine being in a cafe in France, and you don’t speak a lick of French. It’s your turn to order, the barista’s giving you her full attention. You politely ask her for a vanilla latte and she just looks at you confused.
You can’t understand her, she can’t understand you, and you end up leaving with the wrong order or nothing at all.
Does that sound frustrating?
That’s how your baby or toddler feels every time they want something, but don’t have the ability to communicate their wishes to you.
And we all know what happens when a baby or toddler gets frustrated…
So, if we can promote a child’s speech development from day one, accelerate the pace at which they can communicate and understand launguage, we can eliminate a lot of that frustration.
Promoting Your Child’s Speech Development From Day One
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Talk, talk, talk, and then talk some more. Talking is THE BEST way to accelerate your child’s speech development because the only way they learn a language is through exposure to that language.
You want me to talk to my newborn?
Yes! I said “from day one”
People do not give babies enough credit. Their ability to learn and the rate at which they do so is absolutely incredible.
No, they are not going to understand what you are saying but I promise you they are absorbing, they are learning, so keep talking.
I know it can be hard talking to someone who doesn’t talk back. Especially if you aren’t a very talkative person yourself. It’s a little awkward at first, but if you can get past that I promise you the benefits are worth it.
Keep reading this post for ideas to spark the conversation with your little one.
One of the ways I talked to my daughter when she was a baby and didn’t talk back was through narrating the day.
”Mamas folding the clean laundry. This is your pink onsie, it looks so cute on you. Oh darn, that stain didn’t come out.”
”We need to cook dinner. Will you hold this spoon for me? See how mama pours the rice into the pot”
The more you say, the more they hear, the more they learn.
You might think your child is too young to understand but they are making the connection with the word spoon and being handed a spoon, and so on.
Another way to keep the words flowing is to describe and really go into detail when you’re talking to your child.
It good to say, “Look honey, see the dog?”
It’s great to say, “Look honey, see the dog? That’s a type of dog called a golden retriever. Golden retrievers have long golden fur. See how he wags his tail? He’s a happy dog! What does the dog say? Ruff ruff!”
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As important as it is to talk and expose your child to more words it is equally important to LISTEN.
When your baby or toddler starts talking or making any sounds at all, whenever possible give them your attention and make eye contact.
Your child learns a lot through cause and effect.
When something they do gets a reaction out of you, like a smile or a laugh, it encourages them to repeat their action
And building off reactions, it is also very helpful for your child’s speech development for you to respond to them.
Get creative and this can be a lot of fun.
You: “Really? You think so?”
You: Haha wow! I can’t believe he said that. What did you do?”
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Reading is so so so important, I can’t stress this enough.
Again, yes, I mean from the beginning!
No, your newborn is not following the story but they love to listen to your voice.
They are listening, and the are learning!
Books can give you a break from trying to think of what to say next and reading to your child when they are young can create a life long love of reading for them.
Here are a few of the best books to get you started:
Singing is a great way to promote your child’s speech development in a fun way!
Simply because, just like the other ways we’ve talked about, it keeps the words flowing.
Any time I would run out of things to say I would start singing nursery rhymes to my daughter.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Old McDonald Had A Farm, even the ABC’s.
I don’t think a day went by where I didn’t sing to my daughter. Now at 24 months she sings along with me, almost word for word, and she’s been doing so for a while now.
Get prepared and start learning all the nursery rhymes now with these resources:
You don’t just have to stick to nursery rhymes either!
So many times I would have Alexa on my back in the baby carrier, doing dishes with the radio on singing and dancing along.
Now she tells me to turn it on in the car, and even tells me to change the station when she doesn’t like the song that’s on.
I definitely contribute playing music, and singing along to it, to her success in speech development.
Socialization is important for speech development. If your child isn’t in daycare, you can take them to local playgroups to get them around other kids.
Your child learns language when you talk to them, and also by listening to the conversations going on around them.
So even when you’re at home talking to your husband about his day your little one is listening and learning language.
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