Baby G is about 14 months old now and we already have a little chatterbox. While most of it is utter nonsense, she is a little ahead of the game in her language skills. I can’t say for certain that it can be attributed to anything we did or did not do, but we HAVE tried to follow some evidence backed tips for encouraging language skills early on. Keep reading to learn more.

What You Can Do

Ditch the Pacifier. Thankfully Baby G was never a pacifier girl. Research shows that prolonger pacifier use can lead to speech delay, so think about ditching the binky sooner rather than later to encourage good language skills.

Interpret Actions. If your little one is pointing to puffs, interpret the action and give the item a label. “Puffs! You want puffs!”

Narrate everyday actions. In addition to your role as parent, you are now a sportscaster. Narrate everyday actions while playing, getting dressed or taking a bath. “You are sitting in your seat, you are using your fork for the meatball…” you get the idea- narrate it all!

Keep it positive. Keep all attempts to communicate positive. This may mean a dog is a cat or the sky is green for a little bit. Try to avoid telling your little one “that isn’t right.”

Avoid testing your little one. Instead of asking “what sound does a dog make”, or “can you say bottle” try using open ended questions that allow space to think. For example “where does the doggy sleep?”

*Remember, each toddler develops at their own pace and language will show up differently and at different times for each. If you are ever worried about your child’s development always seek advice from your pediatrician.

What was your baby’s first word? Drop it in the comments below!

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