Early Language Development

January 24, 2019
Early Language Development

Infants are quite literally born ready to learn language, and it’s never too early to start! Even before children can speak, they are having conversations through gestures, noises, facial expressions, cooing and crying. Read below to find ways you can help your infant develop language skills during everyday activities – you may even be doing these already!

1. Try out “Parentese”

Unlike baby talk, Parentese means using a singsong voice and exaggerated expressions, with real words and appropriate grammar. Studies show that using stretched out, clearly articulated sentences makes it easier for infants to learn language.

2. Be a Sportscaster

Hearing lots of words makes it easier for babies to learn, and your baby loves the sound of your voice. Sportscasting is just what it sounds like: a play-by-play of exactly what is happening moment-by-moment. This way you’ll have an endless supply of things to say!

3. Ping-Pong Talk

Ping-Pong Talk refers to the natural back and forth of conversations. When you’re sportscasting, watch for your baby’s reactions, pause, and respond back to keep the conversation going with and without words – even before babies can speak.  When you respond to your baby’s smiles, laughs and cooing with back and forth conversations, they will start to understand how language actually works. This promotes early communication skills and teaches babies that what they say matters.

4. Speak Naturally

Some parents worry about a bilingual household being confusing for children who are learning how to communicate. But studies show that infants won’t get confused by hearing two languages, and don’t experience delays in their language development.  In fact, being bilingual can be an advantage for kids! So feel free to speak to your infant in whatever language you are comfortable using.

For more tips on your baby’s early development, explore our parenting guide.

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