Helping your baby create language

5 Ways to Help Your Child’s Language Development

5 Ways to Help Your Child’s Language Development

Don’t hesitate to use routines for valuable language learning experiences. During these everyday happenings, talk to your baby using similar types of words and sentences.

As you change your baby’s clothes, you most likely are very near him. You are providing your baby with the scene he enjoys. As your child enjoys the shapes and shadows of your face, he may start to oooh and ahhh. Take advantage of these vocalizations by ooohing and ahhhing back to him. Give meaning to ooohs and ahhhs, so that he begins to see what he “says” is actually meaningful to you.

Bath Time

Just like changing time, you will have a routine of giving bath to your little one. These can be actions that are repeated many times during the bath. Talk about what you are doing each time, just like you did during changing time. You are basically helping your child begin to identify the words that belong to the objects and actions for that routine. This is true for your baby at any age, whether at 3 months or at 10 months.

You can also brush up your baby’s joint attention skills during bath time. Most babies older than two months enjoy watching parents pour water out of the mug into the tub or bob the bath toy under the water and back out. You can use these actions to help develop your baby’s ability to change focus from you to the object ( falling water or bobbing toy) and back again, encouraging and creating joint attention with your baby.

Meal Time

When your baby is really small, whether you are breast feeding him or bottle feeding him, you hold him in close proximity to yourself so that you are within his visual range. During this time, you should focus on your child’s face as you talk to him. This models for good eye contact and promotes face to face interactions.

As your child grows and starts eating , you can take advantage of his growing joint attention skills to talk about the objects you are using ( food, bowl, plate, spoon, glass, cup, bottle, high chair etc) The idea here is not to label what you are using by saying – “This is a spoon”, “This is a glass”, “This is banana” etc.

This would be a very unnatural conversation and would sound silly. It would also be not a very language enriching model of speech. Rather you could simply talk about what is happening as it is happening. “Alright let’s sit on the high chair. Here I got your Banana. Scoop up with your spoon. Yum Yum banana.” This way, you provide names/labels for the actions in which you are involved, providing lots of opportunities for your baby to start recognizing with objects and actions.

Play Time

This can be the most enriching language learning experience for your baby.  While playing with your baby, remember to sing various songs to him. You can choose from simple nursery rhymes or slow paced songs in your language.  You can play simple games of “peek – a – boo” or “pat – a – cake” , these games are repetitive and very rich in language too.  Toys which are musical and teach cause and effect are great language imparting tools. It is in the way you use your child’s joint attention and listening skills that makes all the difference. Even some swing time in the park can be loaded with talks and opportunities to tell your baby about his surroundings. “Lets swing..yay.. one two, three,  up we go..down we come..!”


Travelling can be a tough job with a little one. Even a short trip to the mall can involve a lot of preparation. However you must always remember that all these are language enriching opportunities for your little one. 5 Ways to Help Your Child’s Language The whole talking can start right from the moment you get your baby changed.

Talk to him about the car seat and the reason why you are going out. Tell him what you will do there. Use simple words and speak slowly. Also avoid over bombardment of information to babies as it gets overwhelming for them. “ We are off to see Aunty and will go in our car. We will meet uncle too. You look so smart in this shirt.”

Similarly there are many activities during the day where you and your baby can team up and create language together. Between you and your child, all the raw materials needed for language learning are available. Enjoy the first twelve months, and recognize all the important skills he is learning. And be prepared, he is about to say his first word!


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A speech disorder can occur at any age and affects one’s ability to speak words to express his or her thoughts, or to be understood.


Pratiksha Gupta
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