Baby & Toddler / 20 February, 2023 / My Baba
Your baby’s communication starts from the moment they are born. You’ll notice small moments that are meaningful milestones in their speech and language development. In this article, noala speech professionals will guide you through the first two years of your baby’s speech development. Our experts also share their top tips to encourage speech and language during their early years.
For your baby, experiences during their early childhood impact their brain’s architecture. From birth to 8 years old, these early year experiences builds the foundation for your child’s future behavior, learning, and health. A good foundation supports children on their communication journey and develops future skills.
During your baby’s first year of development, it is vital to keep track of these milestones. Some developing milestones are more noticeable than others. However, these will be good indications to know your baby’s speech and language are on track. Like their first smile, cry, coo, and babble.
The skills we use to communicate with others are known as speech and language. Being able to communicate supports us in expressing our needs and wants, and helps us learn and build relationships.
Speech and language can be defined as;
A few skills you can track that can be commonly seen through play and interaction include;
Read more on 0-12 month communication milestones in this blog.
Let’s break down your baby’s first 2 years of speech and language development into 6 factors. If your answer is yes to the majority of these factors, then we may recommend that you check in with your healthcare advisor for advice on the next steps and referrals.
To note, every child works at their own pace and milestones are indications of estimated age development.
As a reference point, by 4 years, your child should be mostly understood by familiar and unfamiliar listeners. For more guidance on expected speech and language development, read this clinically backed blog.
Let’s get dive into the fun part of this blog. How we can foster our children’s speech and language parent-led and from the comfort of your home.
The parent-led play has a huge impact on your child’s development. Positive play can be incorporated into everyday activities. Play supports your child’s speech and language skills by teaching them to better understand body language, facial expressions, and listening.
Firstly, get yourself at your child’s eye level. Get down on the follow and minimize means for distraction i.e. turn off the television. Once you are in your child’s space and down at their level, follow their lead. Key factors to following their lead include;
Your child will guide you on what they want to do and you can incorporate positive encouragement. Ask them questions and ask them to tell you what they’re doing. For example, ask them “What’s your favorite toy?” Now if they’re not verbal yet, answer your question with a short sentence. “Teddy, is teddy your favorite toy?”.
Make speech practice fit into life, rather than working around it. Play doesn’t need to use toys and you don’t need to spend money on toys for your child. Keeping activities simple is key.
Our children play every day and are observing everything we do. So next time you cook, ask your child about the food items you’re using. For more tips on encouraging your child’s communication through play, read noala’s clinically backed blog.
Noala offers accessible speech and language services. Offering parents advice and strategies for fostering your child’s first words, sentences, and speech sounds. Their speech professionals support you through tailored programs, communication boost, and speech sounds success.