As a follow up to a more recent article on Understanding Receptive and Expressive Language in Babies, I hope to share the things we have learned to encourage the development of your child’s language skills. It helped that my husband and I were right from the beginning a team with our desire to become pro active parents. We did not want to just stay in the sidelines and watch our child go with the flow. So far, in our four years, I can only say that we’re happy with the choices that we made. 🙂
It may seem trivial but the way we talk to our babies matter. As mentioned in the previous article, it is almost instant for anyone to turn into a “sing song, baby talk” mode when faced with a baby. When you are a new parent and do not know any better, this is probably going to be the default. As with other things about parenting, even this part should, as well, be intentional. Being my son’s primary caregiver from day one, I made it a point that I talked to him naturally. Talking through the things that I do that he sees, referring to myself as “Mama.” For instance, when I put him on his bath tub and get him ready for bath, I will tell him that “Mama is going to give Jed a bath.” It is also important to listen to how your child responds. Very often his little coos and aahhs would mean something. I remember getting this particular coo whenever he loved what we were doing together. It is probably one of the fun things we did when my son was still an infant. It was too short a time, more like a fleeting season that will never come back. Those times should be as treasured as the time that a baby utters his first word.
As your child gets better at his words and utters his first syllables, he will naturally commit some speech mistakes, we call it in our vernacular “bulol.” It is expected but for some reason even the most unintelligible words of a child, a mother can understand (or at least the child’s primary caregiver). For some families, these things do not come as easy because of some developmental problems that are discovered along the way. But the thing about being intentional parents, early detection of whatever problem could help assist the child through the difficulty. The earlier the diagnosis is done, the better the odds are for your child to live normally.