As a parent one of the biggest questions of your baby’s first year will be, “What will his first words be?” You will probably hear that first word around the age of one years old. Next, your child will start using simple consonant vowel sounds to form words such as “up,” “more,” and “me.” At about 18 months, your child’s vocabulary should explode and new words should be spoken often!
In order for your child to learn more words, he must hear them! As a parent there are many ways to expose your baby to a vast vocabulary and language rich environment. Although you can’t rush your child’s natural development, you can help boost his language skills. Here are some easy ways to help boost your baby’s language development.
- Use American Sign Language Signs with your child! Sometimes kids struggle to talk, giving them the signs can help them communicate and ease frustrations. Signs teach children how to use symbols for objects.
- Use real words and model longer phrases for your child. Using real words instead of baby talk will help expand his vocabulary. Instead of calling the bottle “baba,” use the proper word.
- Plan playdates! Organize activities with kids your child’s age. Being around other children gives your child the chance to listen, interact, and use their vocabulary in a social setting. Help out by saying, “Wow, she’s giving you the toy. Say, ‘Thank you!'”
- Incorporate music! Singing is a great way to build language. Teach your child simple rhyming song, such as “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Old Mcdonald.” You will be surprised how quickly they remember the words!
- Around 18 months, babies start using two word phrases to express themselves. Parents should model two word phrases for their child. For example, if he says “ball” you can say, “blue ball” or “throw the ball!” A simple sentence and a wonderful model of language.
Mallory Varrone MACF-SLP, TSSLD