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What can I do to help my baby talk?

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Babies understand what you're saying long before they can clearly speak. You can help your baby learn to talk if you:

  • Respond to nonverbal baby talk like when your baby puts up their arms to be picked up.
  • Mirror your baby's cooing and babbling. Babies try to imitate sounds their parents are making and to vary pitch and tone to match the language heard around them.
  • Smile and praise even the smallest or most confusing attempts at baby talk. Babies learn the power of speech by the reactions they get.
  • Narrate. Talk about what you're doing as you wash, dress, feed, and change your baby.
  • Play. Encourage children to play, pretend, and imagine out loud to develop verbal skills as they become toddlers.
  • Read aloud to your child every day.

From: Your Baby's First Words WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: "Speech and Language Developmental Milestones." National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families, Zerotothree.org: "Helping Your Child Learn To Talk" and "Communication Skills." National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities: "Developmental Milestones." Hawaii Department of Health: "Good Hearing Helps a Baby Learn To Talk."



Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on May 20, 2018

SOURCES: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: "Speech and Language Developmental Milestones." National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families, Zerotothree.org: "Helping Your Child Learn To Talk" and "Communication Skills." National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities: "Developmental Milestones." Hawaii Department of Health: "Good Hearing Helps a Baby Learn To Talk."



Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on May 20, 2018

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