At what age did your little one start to talk? My son started talking at 6 months. His first word was dada then mama. Soon after, at 8 months, my baby started saying ‘no’ repeatedly. Regrettably, I was constantly telling my baby no for a plethora of reasons. He was so active and would frequently crawl towards unforbidden areas and oh yes… my lil monkey was also very much into climbing. He would climb just about anything that his little hands and feet could reach. Don’t like saying no to your baby? Then now is the time to stop. Mothers, did you know we can tell our bundle of joy no without actually saying no? Of course we can! My baby once went to investigate all the colourful things in my refrigerator. Instead of saying no, I simply said, ” Let us go and see what is inside your toy box. Refrigerators are not for babies.”
Soon after, my son’s second favorite word was titi…..*smile* Again, this is another word that yourstruly would always say to him whenever it was time to be breastfed. Now mothers, have you noticed the trend? My son’s vocabulary started to expand with words that I was constantly using to him. Therefore, if you want to expand or develop your baby’s vocabulary the place to start is through immersing him or her in language.
LET THE TALK BEGIN
You might be surprise at how much your baby is paying attention to what you are saying to him or her on a daily basis. But hey, incase you have forgotten, our little princes and princesses are sponges. Yes! Sponges! They literally internalize every bit of detail they see and hear. I remember once when I was teaching my son the word’ fish’. I wasn’t able to get him to repeat after me. However, this soon changed. One day while he was wearing a shirt with a fish on it he paused and looked at his shirt, pulled it away from his body, looked me in the eyes and said “phish.”……lol.
As time progressed, my baby’s vocabulary started to increase. He now has over fifty words in his vocabulary at two years old. He is also now constructing sentences. These sentences range from two to three words per sentence. He would for example say,” Banana, let’s go and mommy lay down.” Additionally, there are also words that he does not utter but he perfectly understands me when I talk to him. So if I say, baby go get your slippers, don’t think for a second that he is going for his shoes. Nope! He is getting his slippers. There are also times that your baby will utter words that you have taught him or her but just not in your presence. From birth I have always hug, kiss then say I love you to my son. Oh how I wish he would repeat these words to me. He did however repeat them -just not to me. I was “fortunate” to walk into a room just in time to see him run towards his sleeping father while calling daddy, threw his arms around his neck, kissed him then said- I LOVE YOU. Instantly I wanted to cry, whether it be from jealousy or excitement from another motherhood accomplishment. My journey with his vocabulary does not end here. I am proud to have journeyed thus far with my baby through language immersion.
Here are seven useful tips to increase your baby’s vocabulary.
- Identify your baby’s favorite objects and food and repeatedly say the words to him or her daily.
2.Read books to and with your baby that have pictures and single words on each page. As you flip through the pages, hold your baby’s hand and touch and call each word more than once. Word of advice…use books that are age appropriate. You can actually start your baby off with books like ” My First Word”.
3. Source toys that match words that you are currently teaching your baby. Ensure that you say the name of each toy through playful songs as you interact with your love bug.
4. Buy clothes for your baby that depict words that you have been teaching your child. Show and say the name of each picture to your baby before dressing him or her.
5.Print and paste colored pictures of objects. Please ensure that each object is strategically placed where your baby can see it. In doing so, your baby will be able to internalize and attribute a name to each object as he or she interacts with it.
6. Use realia. Lets say you are teaching your baby animals, I would suggest that you take him or her to the zoo to see what the real animals look like. When doing this, please ensure that you repeatedly say the name of that which is being taught and encourage your child to repeat….if he or she is old enough. Let us say for example that you are teaching the child the word banana. You can peel the banana in front the baby and say banana more than once before giving it to the baby. I am pretty certain that before you know it, your lil munchkin will soon be saying, “Mommy banana.”
7.Just talk. Did you know that your baby is able to recognize your voice while in your tummy? The answer is yes. This is where their literacy development all begins. Pregnant women are therefore encouraged to talk, read and sing to their fetus. It is also paramount that this continues after birth. Ensure that your love bug is constantly being saturated in speech. As you feed your baby, talk about what he or she is being fed. Yep! You got that right. Just talk to you baby and model that language.
Vocabulary Building = Chaotically Beautiful Experiences