Your baby this week
Your baby’s babbling sounds will sound similar to adult speech as she mimics what she hears.
She may also respond to a simple command such as ‘give me that’ or ‘no’. You may notice your baby encountering problems like her ball rolling behind the toy box. A few months ago this would have resulted in tears but now your baby will probably sit and work out where the ball is, before using her mobility skills to retrieve it from its hiding place. Soon, hiding your keys and wallet behind your back will be no match for your little Einstein.
Give everything a name
Name everything in your baby's world, so if you are bathing her name the duck, taps, water, bubbles, wet toes, wet fingers, wet nose… and so on. When you are in the park name the trees, swings, birds, flowers, other people around you, so that everything in your baby's world has a name. Use your baby’s name as much as you can so she is aware of her own identity i.e. its time for Alice’s bath now…
Read to your child
Reading to your baby at a young age helps them to hear and understand the inclinations and emotions of speech. It can also help with labelling things, so you can point to a picture and say the word, ‘Fire Engine’ to help them recognise what objects are called. If you are telling a story use different voices for each character and even different accents if you can manage.
Listen to what your baby is saying
When you ask your baby a question, wait to see what her response is; it might be a smile, a look towards a toy, or even babble, but it is a response. Try to answer her babbles as if you were having a proper conversation, so say, ‘really, how interesting, what a lovely day you’ve had’ to her. If your baby is trying to tell you something, help her by pointing to what it might be, for instance, do you want milk? Your book? Your shoes? And wait for her to respond to what you are pointing at.