Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Baby Talk

Have you ever been around a baby and you could understand something they were saying and their parents were saying that the baby did not talk yet? My daughter and I were talking about this one day and how we could understand things and the parents did not think their child talked at all.

I raised five children and baby sat several grandchildren as well as other babies. Right now I am babysitting a granddaughter. All my children and most of the babies I have watched have talked "early". Most by 5 months old. By now some of you are probably thinking I am hearing things, but I think more babies than not, do talk or are able to talk by then.

It was my noticing things with Scout, the granddaughter I now watch, that made me see the difference in what I do compared to many others. When she was talking by 5 months I began to wonder about babies and talking. I believe that so many are so convinced that talking comes later in the baby months that they do not realize what they do from birth sets the stage to give them the basics to learn to talk "early".

I would like to offer some ideas for helping baby talk.

Things I found I do:

  • If they show an interest in something, tell them what it is. They play with my button, I repeat and repeat "button". Say the word over and over with the same enunciation. I show them the buttons on the love seat back, and any other buttons close by.
  • When you give them a bottle, tell them what it is. etc.
  • Same with when you change their diaper, let them hold the diaper (clean one please!) and tell them "diaper". Scout says "dieder". This is talking. She says it when I am changing her or she sees them. Often it is in a "sentence" (like we talk) of jabber.
  • Talk to them as you do things, tell them what you are doing. (cooking, dishes, picking up toys... show them toys and tell them toys.)
  • Always say "bye bye", "hi" etc when you can, they will learn those words quickly.
  • Listen to them, they may be already talking. Scout talks a lot and is 10 months old. She will get a little different tone in her voice when she is saying a word over her jabber.
  • We talk in sentences, they try to also. So, there will be jabber jabber dogie jabber jabber. Dogie may be said dawdie or something like that and not clear. Try to catch it then repeat what sounded like it could be a word. Repeat it correctly and maybe point to the object. They say "doog" you see they are looking at a book, so you say "book". Scout now says dook when she looks at the book case, it is talking, just needs to be perfected as they can develop and tell the difference.
  • They will never tell the difference in words if you baby talk, say it right!

The other day I had my granddaughter in her high chair and she suddenly handed me part of her cookie and said "here go". I was a bit taken by her saying that until I realized when I give her something that she has been waiting for I say "here you go" and then give it to her. She just turned 10 months old and was now saying it to me. Today, I was showing her one of those interactive books and I was doing the page turning and showing her how the pages work. She took the book and said "do it". She did this twice and I wondered where she got it from. It was some hours later when I was thinking about it that I realized when I am showing her a new toy or something new on an old one I show her then tell her to do it. She got the "do it" and knew how to use it!

There is a warning with all of this learning. Babies listen from birth. You are teaching them. If you do not want them to say certain words, don't you say them. They will pick them up and use them.

By the way, I also found this works with cockatiels, mine talks a lot too!


Jes said...

I just think you're crazy mom. :) just kidding. Lexi says a whole bunch but i don't know how much other people would understand. she said peaches the other day. it sounded like deaches, but it was pretty clear. She also says juice, eat, more, all done,kitty... and a bunch more.

Beckie said...

How about Sean's famous "A train a train a train a train" Matthew said "wov vu" to me every night when I put him to bed. I think he was 3 months old when he started. I do find if you take the time to listen to them Kids have much more language than people give them credit for.