How To Help Your Baby Learn To Talk As They Grow

As your baby grows, he or she will learn to talk. There are so many different things you can do to help your baby learn to speak and to increase their vocabulary.


baby learn to talk


0 – 6 Months


At this stage, you can hold your little one as you talk to them. Babies enjoy seeing faces and will watch you as you talk. You can comment on what you’re doing as you feed, bathe, change or interact with them in any way. You can also try singing nursery rhymes or reading baby books as this helps them tune in to the rhythm of language. You can also repeat any sounds your little one makes back to them to teach them about listening and conversation. You can talk to your baby in a sing-song tone as this can help keep them interested.


6 – 12 Months


At this stage, you can point and name things that both you and your baby can see, such as pointing out an animal or car. As they get older, you can add in some detail like stating the colour of the animal or car. You can also read to your little one while encouraging them to look at the book as well. You don’t have to even read the words on the page, but you could use the book to point out the different pictures. You should also introduce games such as peek-a-boo, and round and round the garden. You might also want to consider beginning to limit how often your little one has their dummy, as it’s hard to learn to talk with a dummy in their mouth.


12 – 18 Months


At this stage, your little one may be saying single words. If they say a word wrong, you can gently correct. Don’t criticise, instead encourage by repeating the word correctly. You can also try offering choices and encouraging your child to state the choice – for example, you could ask if your little one wants an apple or a banana for a snack. You could also try introducing toys and books that make sounds or speak. Nursery rhymes, and songs will also be helpful, especially any that have actions to help your little one remember the words.


18 – 24 Months


At this stage, you can use simple instructions, such as “Let’s get your shoes on”. Children of this age should be able to understand and follow short, simple instructions. You should also repeat words, for example, if you ask your child to find their shoes, you could follow up by asking them questions about their shoes making sure to use the word shoes. You can also play games with your little one that involve questions such as ‘Where is your nose, mouth, foot, hand etc?’


2 – 3 Years


At around two years old your little one will start to speak in simple sentences. Reply to them using a slightly expanded sentence. For example, if they say, ‘shoes on’, you could reply with ‘Yes, we are putting your shoes on’. Try to remember to say your little one’s name at the beginning of your sentence to make sure you have their attention. If you ask a question, make sure you give them plenty of time to respond. You should also continue narrating what you’re doing. You can also explain what you’re doing when you’re cleaning, shopping, or cooking.


Speech And Language Delay


If you think your child may have a speech and language delay, you can talk to your GP or health visitor. They may refer your child to your local speech therapy department, where they will assess your child, and possibly give you some at home activities and exercises to help improve their speech.