Usually, by the time your baby is around 6 months, they will be babbling and trying to make sounds. By this time, they might already be saying ‘baba’ or ‘mama’. It’s only until they are around 24 months that they can make a short sentence.
All the same, talking milestones are different in each toddler. Some talk earlier and others much later than others. How first your toddler learns to talk depends on factors such as your role in helping them develop their speech. You could, therefore, make it easier for them to start talking with these easy tricks:
1. Talk about everything
Your toddler will learn to talk by hearing you and the people around them talking. So, talk to them every time. When feeding them, bathing them or dressing them, ensure you are not doing it silently. If you do not know what to say, you can just narrate what you are doing to the baby. Saying something like ‘We are now cooking food for the baby” will go along way in helping them develop their speech.
ALSO READ: Signs you are not yet ready to have a child
2. No baby talk
When your baby starts to utter words, don’t utter them as they do. Just say words correctly instead of repeating what they said. This way, they will slowly learn how to say it correctly. But also avoid pressuring them or insisting they pronounce the word correctly.
3. Limit time spent on TV
You might think that a cartoon channel for your child will help them learn faster or give you time to focus on other things. But that is wrong. Children learn by actively engaging with their environment and this doesn’t happen when they are glued on the screen or playing with the tablet for hours. Studies have also found that kids who spend more hours on TV experience delayed speech.
4. Use actions when talking
If you want your toddler to remove their shoes, tell them to do so as you remove yours. This will enable them to connect your actions with the words and prompt them to repeat after you.
5. Read to your toddler
Get a storybook with lots of pictorials and read to your toddler regularly. This is also a way to introduce new vocabulary to them and help them improve their speech.
6. Listen to them
When your toddler is talking, listen to them. They will be interested in talking more when they know that you are listening. Also, give them positive remarks when they say a word correctly and commend them.