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Even before your baby can speak actual words they can communicate using sounds. Gradually they begin to discover the range of sounds they can make, by experimenting and trying to copy you.
Very young babies often make a big effort to copy a word that is spoken to them repeatedly. Have a look at this Youtube video. Does the baby manage to say "hello" or not? It doesn't matter, but it does show that the baby can make a sound in response to the mother's voice - like a conversation.
Talk to your baby face to face as often as possible and show them things that you name for them. For instance, "here's your bowl" or "yummy apple". Repeat the word and point to the object. That way your baby's understanding of words can grow naturally. Later, they will be able to say the words themselves.
Also, show them picture books and name the picture. That will make even more words familiar, and fun.
If you would like to read more about baby talk milestones by WebMD click here.
Sharing stories play an important role in a child’s development. They not only help children learn language and reading skills but they also have an emotional quality which can help children make sense of their feelings. Reading to babies and young children, and giving them time to respond, will help make the most of this opportunity. Recognising shapes will help your child to learn to read later on.
The most important thing is that reading is fun and enjoyable for both of you – five minutes can be enough. Just turn off the TV and find a quiet place so there are no distractions. And remember stories are not just found in books, it’s just as good to tell your child short, simple stories you know.
Remember, you’re not teaching your child to read. You learn to talk a long time before you learn to read, and sharing stories and giving your child time to respond is a wonderful way to help your child’s language development.
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