Guest blog post by: Vivian Yau, Smile Speech Therapy
Before babies can even talk, they are communicating with you through many other ways. Here are some helpful tips for how to stimulate and support the development of your little communication partner at an early age.
Pay attention to and respond to your baby’s cries, sounds, facial expressions, body movements, and actions. Remember to get face-to-face with your baby so he or she can see your face and mouth and you can observe how they are responding.
Use “motherese” or infant-directed speech when talking to your young baby. That means using a higher pitch than normal, simplified words, and an exaggerated musical quality to your talking. Think of how complete strangers will come up to you and naturally lower themselves to your baby’s level and speak to your baby in that singsong manner: “You are such a cute baby! Look at that smile!”. Studies show that speaking to babies in this manner is better for getting your baby to pay attention to you and stay engaged and interested.
Take turns with your baby by copying his or her coos, sounds, and babbles. Pretty soon you will be having back and forth “conversations” with your little one and really showing them the power of speech.
Lastly, be aware of what to expect of your child’s communication skills at different ages to make sure he or she is on-track. An online checklist for communication milestones can be found at:
**For a free phone consultation about your child’s speech and language skills, call me at (416)488-7807 and mention Mommy Connections. I look forward to hearing from you!
M.Sc., CCC-SLP, Reg. CASLPO
Speech-Language Pathologist and Clinical Director at Smile Speech Therapy
Vivian is a mother of 3 young boys with 14 years of experience helping children improve their speech and language skills. She is the founder of a new private practice called Smile Speech Therapy which provides in-home or in-clinic (Bayview/Eglinton) speech and language services to children in Toronto and the surrounding area. For more information, please visit www.smilespeech.ca