Babbling on – Helping your child to talk

21st Apr 2017
Babbling on – Helping your child to talk

Early communication with you baby is key to healthy development and bonding with your child. Talking to your bump will help your unborn baby build familiarity with the family they are yet to meet. At this stage your baby has the chance to get accustomed to the voices and sounds they will encounter when they are born. Reading a story or singing to your ‘bump’ is a lovely way to bond with you baby. They may even have a slight memory of the story or song when they hear it again when they are born. You may even get a little nudge of acknowledgement from you baby in response to your voice or a certain song! For further ways to bond with your bump, check out this Mother&Baby’s article that explore the different activities you can do with your bump!

As your child starts to learn to communicate, it is best to see what works best for them as each child has a different style of learning to others. It’s important you encourage your child to continue communicate with you, even if it is just ‘baby babble’ and they are getting frustrated. Talking to your child in a ‘grownup’ way using, clear and simple words for things will greatly help your child’s development. It’s important to educate them when they are reaching for something and trying to get your attention. By asking them a question and then providing the answer, they will learn to understand what words are related to what and build on their vocabulary. Their little coos and gurgles are basically early speech, so responding to them when they make these noises encourages them to continue to learn and develop. Ensuring you child feels like you’re listening to their ‘baby babble’ will make you baby feel like they are listened to and will spur them on to continue, developing their speech further. The BabyCentre have created a great ‘talking timeline’ that shows the different stages your baby will go through when learning to talk, which is perfect for helping you understand their development.

Regular communication with your child, whether it’s via reading, singing or even simple conversations about your day will help with their early language skills. The NHS has some great tips on ways you can talk and encourage your baby to develop their language skills if you need some inspiration. Try to get down to your child’s eye level so they can focus on you and what is being said and help understand how the words are formed and sound. Be patient and give your baby time to process what is being said. Try speaking slowly and avoid using long sentences. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy every minute of your child’s development, from giggling to full blown conversations about their day at nursery!