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Teaching babies how to talk

Considering how important speech is to developing language skills, it’s impossible to imagine not speaking until you’re toddlers. It’s surprising that adults don’t realize that teaching children how to speak early on could be a real game changer. If you’re thinking of starting your kids off with baby sign language, check out these tips for teaching babies how to talk!

Teaching babies how to speak could be a bit challenging, but the benefits include positive effects on communication skills in future classrooms and interactions at home. This article will provide advice on steps including when and where you should start teaching your children to talk as well as what type of surfaces or objects they should use for learning conversation techniques.

Step-by-step Guide to teach babies how to talk

newborn
  • First and foremost, it’s crucial to understand what baby signing actually is. According to Baby Sign Language, it’s a way for babies to express themselves using a series of gestures that mimic words or phrases. This is considered speech and doesn’t interfere with normal language development later on.
  • One of the most important aspects of teaching babies how to talk is that it gets them to associate an image with a word or sound, which will allow the child to develop their own sign language and communicate nonverbally throughout the rest of their lives.
  • When teaching baby signing, you have to start off slow and simple by using one sign at a time for words that are used often in daily conversations (i.e. “more,” “all gone,” and “mommy”).
  • In order to keep their attention, you’re going to want to start out by demonstrating a sign before asking your child to repeat it.
  • Signing can be done in a variety of ways including with your hands, body, and even objects – teaching babies how to talk is not limited!
  • When demonstrating a sign for words that are used often, you should ask them if they know how the word is signed. If they don’t remember, be sure to repeat the action several times while saying the word aloud.
  • After a few days of hanging bread on the fridge with the sign for “more,” teaching babies how to talk will help reinforce the idea that signs are there to communicate and not simply used for decoration.
  • The more one understands about signs, the better able they’ll be at using them in real situations later on. After your child is familiar with using signs like these, try signing out loud while explaining what they mean. When they see you say their names, they will likely want to say them themselves too!
  • You might also consider signing go away or goodnight as well as count when grocery shopping to help encourage your baby’s fluency in speech.
  • Choosing a good surface to begin baby signing on can be challenging. A plain rubber mat is best to start out with because it’s simple to clean, durable, and comes in several colors. Clothing or fabric on surfaces is also practical; however, be aware of the fact that you might have to wash it often.
  • You can teach babies how to sign using a variety of objects as well such as toys, books, furniture, and even your own body (showing them how you sign your name with your hand). If you find yourself having trouble finding the right object for baby signing with your child, try “baby wrangling” (i.e., sitting down and demonstrating an object for them).

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  • When your child is more familiar with their first ten words, it’s time to expand their vocabulary by teaching them to associate hand signs with other words they’ll use daily.
  • To keep the process as simple as possible and prevent overwhelming your child you can teach them a group of signs at once. For instance, giving them the opportunity to practice saying “all gone,” “more,” and “mommy” at the same time will give you a better understanding of how well they understand the process of learning how to speak. You will then be able to gauge their interest in other signs if they are successful or not when trying this at home.
  • It’s fine to have several signs for a single word or phrase, especially if there are many you need for the same situation. For example, in the event you do laundry you might choose to teach them how to say “do it” with their hands instead of saying “wash.”
  • You can even combine baby sign language with toddler sign language. Toddlers tend to like pictures and will likely learn many gestures in the process; remember not to start any negative behaviors as they develop.
  • Consider how you want your child to know what sign language is used when it comes to teaching them how to talk. If they’re young, you may want to explain that sign language is a visual communication system used to communicate with your child depending on their age and the communication situation at hand. If your child is older, you can explain this knowledge to them by telling them that sign language is a way for your child to speak and show others that he or she understands. You could even show them how you talk yourself (e.g., talking with your hands).
  • Teaching babies how to talk can be fun, especially when they’re excited to do so. In fact, they may even ask you to sign the word for “more” even when you’re doing dishes or cooking.
  • Social situations are important to pay attention to too; for instance, your child may sign more at parties where there are a lot of new people around. This could be a great chance to teach them how different signs work in different situations!
  • Another good time for baby signing is during breakfast when it seems like everyone is running around and trying to get ready for the day. Instead of screaming and yelling at them due to frustration from rushing around, teach toddlers how to say “please,” and “thank you.
Bottom Line

Teaching your baby how to talk is a great skill to have and can help them be successful in real-life situations far in the future. When done right, it can help ease the transition of kids that are already talking into those who are not. You’ll be able to incorporate baby sign language in early speech development not only for yourself, but for an entire family.