12-18 months

PLAYING: Baby Talk: Encouraging Baby's First Words

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Baby Talk: Encouraging Baby's First Words

Your baby’s first words are likely to happen around their first birthday. It’s an exciting time for you both as your little one starts to verbalise their wonder at the world—just prepare yourself for the torrent of questions that will follow soon after!

2 mins to read Jun 27, 2022

Here are some things you can do to help encourage your baby to talk:

  1. Try to teach your baby to talk about the things you see and do.
  2. Describe things as you’re doing them (I’m cooking dinner, I’m calling daddy, I’m packing your bag).
  3. Aim to read to your child every day and describe pictures in books too.
  4. Sing and act out songs and nursery rhymes to make learning words fun.
  5. Try to expand on what your child is saying, for example if they say “dog” you can say “yes it’s a black dog”.
  6. Let your toddler clearly see your face and mouth when you’re speaking so they can copy the shapes your lips and mouth make.
  7. Show them simple choices and encourage them to say the word, rather than point. For example, hold up an apple and an orange and ask them to say the word of the fruit they’d like to eat.
  8. Repeat words back to them correctly, but don’t focus on their mistakes.
  9. Turn off the radio, TV, or tablet so there are fewer distractions, and you can spend time focusing on talking to each other.