Contributed by Jean Thompson
Speech Language Pathologist
Aspire Speech and Learning Center
Babies begin their social language development long before the appearance of first words. Cooing, babbling, smiling and eye gaze are all signs that an infant is beginning to develop language cognition.
Everyday interactions with your infant are the perfect opportunities to hold a “conversation” with your child. Your response to babbling, silly exchanges of vocalizations, peek-a-boo or other verbal/visual games help to establish turn-taking and eye gaze. Opportunities for “conversations” might include diapering, feeding, rocking, face wiping, play time with a toy or simply lifting from the crib.
Language stimulation should also include lots of singing and reading.
Cuddle with your child and read with an enthusiasm. You don’t have to read every word but point to the pictures and name or talk about them.
Make up silly songs to go with your actions when playing with your baby and narrate your activities together. Use simple sentences and correct grammar. “Mommy is sweeping,” “That’s a big ball.” “Here we go!”
As babbling emerges continue to engage in conversation in a playful manner. No apps or flashcards needed!