There's something magical about the first time. The very first time when you hold your baby, their first glance, the first time when baby smiled, their first giggle or cry, and above all, the very first time when you heard Mamma or Dada...with those joyful watery eyes, of course. How good it feels to hear toddlers speak even if it's their gibberish language, and that drives parents to make their child learn how to talk and have a conversation.
Before moving ahead, let's briefly describe how babies gradually develop communication skills according to their age.
Speech Development of Babies from 0 to 36 months
The beginning months are the discovery phase for toddlers as they try to get familiar with the surrounding noises. So, in the initial months, you can hear them gurgling, babbling, or cooing.
Here comes the time when babies can grasp the most straightforward words and gestures. You can expect your kid to speak their first word till they turn one.
At the age of 13-18 months, their memory box starts storing 10-20 or more words. Be cautious because they can repeat anything you say.
Now, they've got a good grip over vocab of around 50 to 100 words. Moreover, they can also speak in short sentences.
Parents, brace yourselves because now, not only bigger sentences, but your kid has ample requests, questions, and details to ask.
The above given is a predictable representation of how a baby's language and communication skills evolve. According to the age of your munchkin, you can make them learn how to speak, and therefore, you can teach these tips to encourage them to talk.
Tips to Encourage Your Baby to Talk
Talk to your Baby
This may sound like one of the most obvious things, but it is paramount to interact with your baby. You and other family members are the child's prime source to learn a language. So, it's the time when you can talk and listen to your kid because they understand that you are conversing with them.
Hand gestures that we use play a significant role to make a kid learn and remember things. For instance, you can wave your hand while saying bye-bye to someone when the kid is around and make them repeat the gesture. Similarly, introduce hand gestures to greet, show that they want to pee, the head movement for yes or no, and a lot more.
Introduce New Words
Being an ultimate learning source for your toddler, you need to use new words so that the child can also pick them up. Moreover, if they are already speaking a few words, try expanding by giving a more extended response. If they say water, you reply with a sentence saying, water is blue. This technique helps to develop your baby's vocabulary.
Refrain from using this or that, instead, name all the things while talking to the baby. For example, if you are feeding cereals and the kid points out at the spoon, respond by saying spoon, it is a spoon, and make them repeat. By doing this, next time, they can speak a word instead of pointing it out.
Okay, you don't need to interrogate your munchkin, instead ask them questions so that they can feel involved in a conversation. Like, would you like to play outside? Or Can we get some food? Wait for their way of response and later explain how to answer as in, Yes, let's get it.
One of the best ways to boost your kiddo's encouragement to talk is to praise them. Regardless of the minor attempts, ensure to complement them with an applaud, the warmest hug, or a smile. Indeed, you can use phrases such as 'Good job' or 'I am proud of you' or 'wow, you just said it and see what wonders it does.
Things to Avoid
Do not use baby talks even if your toddler talks in that manner; you use the proper word again in place of correcting them.
Refrain from teaching your kid to communicate until they act fussy. Try to make the learning process fun and interesting.
Most importantly, know that every child has their own pace of learning things. It's tougher to tell a kid to be quiet once they start speaking instead of making them learn how to speak. So, do not push or panic; just be patient. Have a great time!