Babbling and Beyond
Early sound and language games and shared communication around
daily routines support development of brain synapses and lay the
foundation for expressive language development.
Questions to Ask
- How is your baby communicating with you now?
- Does your baby imitate sounds you make? Do you imitate her sounds?
- What do you talk to her about during the day?
- Is it easy or hard to know what she wants?
- What gestures does your baby make? Does she point?
- How often do you read to her? Do you talk about the pictures?
- Observe how parents are communicating with their baby. Praise them for their ability to communicate with her, and offer
suggestions if needed.
- Point out the baby’s nonverbal messages and gestures.
- Using the guidance below, identify ways the parents can promote communication with their baby.
Guidance for Parents
- Babbling, cooing, pointing, and other gestures are the way your baby communicates with you. Imitate the sounds she is making and show that you understand her gestures. This will help your baby understand that her actions have an effect and will support her interest in communicating
with you. Answer your baby with responses such as:
- “I see you want me to pick you up.”
- “You really like splashing in your bath.”
- “I think you must be feeling tired.”
- “It looks like you want some more to eat.”
- When you talk to your baby it helps her to organize sounds and learn to speak. During the day, talk to your baby about the things you are doing and seeing. For example, while changing her diaper you might say:
- “Let’s take that wet diaper off and throw it away. Let’s wash you and put on a nice clean diaper. Now doesn’t that feel better?”
- You can also help your baby learn how to communicate by:
- Looking at picture books together and reading to her
- Naming objects in books, around the house, and outside
- Playing music and singing to your baby
- Playing games such as pat-a-cake, peek-a-boo, and so-big
- To help your baby learn to express her feelings, you might say:
- “You are crying. Are you sad?”
- “Look at that smile. You must be happy.”
- “I see you are rubbing your eyes. Are you tired?
- When you want your baby to do something, help her understand by using actions and words to show her:
- Wave “bye-bye” to Daddy
- Clap your hands
- Taste these yummy potatoes
- Put the ball in the box