Helping Your Baby Learn to Speak

Learning language starts at birth when your baby begins to hear voices and soon understands the spoken word. Most babies begin speaking sometime after their first birthday.

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Here are some ways you can foster speech development in your baby.

• Narrate your day. Speak directly to your baby as much as possible. Explain everything you are doing.
• Tell stories to your child about subjects that might interest them or familiar tales you know.
• Read to your baby as much as possible and take them to story-time events at libraries and bookstores.
• Listen to age-appropriate music with your child, with clear and identifiable words. Sing along if you can.
• Ask questions, even if they can’t answer. Allow them to get used to familiar speech patterns.
• Don’t criticize or correct their early speech patterns and sounds. Let them explore how things sound to them.