From the moment you realize that the baby is forming inside the stomach you’ll want to communicate any way you can. You’ll start by commenting when the baby is kicking, and before you know it you’ll be talking to your baby even though you are aware of the fact that she can’t understand you yet. But baby can recognize sounds early on in the process of developing while in the womb. Once the baby is delivered you’ll continue building your relationship with your toddler, but you’ll need to know how to do it properly in order to expect results.
Keep it Simple
When the baby is ready to start learning its mother tongue, you should start easy. Try not to use complicated words or long sentences. Trying to add too many words to her vocabulary will only add to the confusion. She’ll have plenty of information to process anyway, and adding new words each minute won’t help her process them any faster.
The baby will try to repeat only if the words are pronounced loud and clear. So keep it simple and let them start from the basics, repeating syllables word after word. If the baby doesn’t repeat the word or a part of the word correctly, simply pronounce it again with greater effort and clarity. This way, you’ll be correcting him or her when they make a mistake repeating the sound, and eventually as the time passes you’ll hear the very fists words from her.
Use Short Phrases and Syllables
There are many ways to conduct a speech therapy for toddlers at home but you’ll want to start with the most basic ones. It’s important to understand that the baby can’t repeat whole words immediately as you say them. Start by pronouncing short syllables like “da” or “la”. If she keeps mispronouncing simply emphasize the letter that she has difficulties pronouncing.
Combine the two syllables and stretch them while pronouncing to make it easier for her to understand and repeat. Patience is the key here, as you can’t really expect her to start saying her first words after a couple of sessions. Depending on the efficiency of your techniques and the learning potential of your child you can expect to hear first words after nine months.
Make it Interesting
You know it yourself- you can’t approach your baby with an attitude “lets learn a couple of words” if she isn’t into it a t that moment. You need to pick your moments carefully and also make learning sessions as interesting as possible. It will not only increase the effectiveness of these lessons, but it will also make it more interesting for the baby. So try to make these speech therapy activities for toddlers at home at interesting and playful as possible.
Add toys to the exercise and point at them as you pronounce the words. Later on, as your toddler grows you can add more baby toys to the exercise, pointing at the one that matches the word that you’ve pronounces. This will help the baby understand that you are trying to explain which animal toy bears that name. If she has multiple choices when picking a toy that you’ll called out you’ll eliminate the chances of “being lucky” when matching the pronounced word with the object. You can start with two toys and if you notice that she’s progressing, you can add a couple of more to make it more interesting and challenging at the same time.
Another exercise that does wonders for your baby’s progress in learning her first words and generally learning phrases is to add colors to your exercise. Place a couple of different colored objects of the same shape in front of her, and point at each color as you pronounce it.
Then try how that works out for her. If she keeps pointing at the red object as you say “red” you’ll be sure that she knows what you mean and understands you completely. It’s important to use objects that are the same in size and shape so that you don’t add to the confusion. She can easily react to a different shape and reach out to it just because it’s interesting, while you’ll think that she recognized the word or color, that you’ve pronounced.
TV Doesn’t go Hand in Hand with Learning
You might come to an idea that keeping TV on will help you toddler learn new words. But the truth is that it doesn’t help because it’s a lot of information to process. Sure there are kids channels that are suitable for that age, but you’re forgetting that she is used to hearing your voice, and naturally will only learn something when you show or present it.
So try to avoid using TV or internet to teach your baby or toddler to learn new words as it will only add to the confusion as it’s a lot to process. Music can help your baby relax and calm down but it doesn’t mean that you should play it any time that she’s nervous and cranky.
Be sure to talk your baby through every process, even when bathing, clothing and going places in simple terms. This is important because of two things. First, you’ll make the process a whole lot easier and more interesting for the baby.
If you keep her mind occupied you’ll lower the chances of her being cranky and nervous while you finish up bathing, clothing, feeding or whatever you were doing. And secondly, you’ll feed her mind with resourceful information. You’ll be amazed at the amount of information she can store in her tiny, developing brain. When the time comes, she’ll surprise you by saying that you’re going to the park or to see the animals for example.
Teach Your Toddler to Ask for Things
Another great way to teach a couple of new words to your toddler is to ask whether they want an apple or any other food type that you’re serving. This way, if you repeat the exercise and be persistent, the baby will eventually start asking for that type of food on their own.
This will not only melt your hearth but also show that you’re going in the right direction with your techniques and learning activities. Keep in mind that they will absorb everything like a sponge when it comes to new information and words. So you’ll also need to be careful when talking around them. You wouldn’t want them to learn the wrong words and expressions.
There are many ways to teach your toddler to talk and say their first words, but you’ll need to pick the ones that are most appropriate for your child. You know what’s best for your baby, as you know how she reacts to certain things and in certain situations. Therefore, after choosing an activity, be sure to add a couple of things that will make it even more interesting for your baby, therefore, adding to the effectiveness of the exercise.