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Parenting: Ten Things You Can Do to Develop Your Baby's Language Skills

By Peter Andrews

The growth of your baby's language skills is an amazing process. In the short space of a year, she goes from crying to speaking intelligible words.

Can you do anything to help baby along? Apparently yes. There are ways to help the baby develop her language skills more easily and quickly.

Keep in mind that these are only general guidelines. All babies do not respond equally to these actions. In some cases, you might not notice any effect at all.

1. Talk to your baby. Babies can understand speech long before they can speak. Talking to your baby helps her become familiar with words. Speak slowly and clearly, using short sentences.

2. As early as two months of age, your baby will have a collection of coos and other sounds for communication. To encourage her to keep communicating, listen to her attentively, looking directly into her eyes.

3. Sing to your baby and read stories to her. The more you talk to her as well as listen to her, the faster she'll develop her language. When you read, ask questions about the pictures in the book. That way, you can turn the session into an interactive one.

4. Respond to your baby's sounds with your own voice tones and words. Have "chat times with baby and you can hold "conversations with her. When she gets one or two words right or almost right, repeat them back to her.

5. At times, your baby will tire of communication. She may turn her head away from you or cover her face. When this happens, don't attempt to force her to talk to you.

6. Don't talk to the baby continuously. Allow her space to respond in her own way. Let her complete sentences herself; don't do it for her.

7. Identify objects by their names. When the baby shows curiosity about any object, use it as an opportunity to help expand her vocabulary. Name animals, trees, colors, objects and more.

8. Repetition helps the baby learn. Repeat object names, sentences and nursery rhymes.

9. Play games like peek-a-boo or pat a cake. While the baby can't speak real words, she'll respond with her own babbling language.

10. Some studies say that background noise like television can hinder a baby's ability to pick up language. Adults who are hard of hearing may struggle to understand conversation at a noisy party. The situation is even worse for a baby who doesn't even understand the language in the first place. So try to minimize such background noises.

About The Author
Peter Andrews is a successful author and has written extensively on parenting.

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