At around a year of age your baby may have a few words for the people and things that mean the most to them.
To begin with it may only be those who spend the most time with them that can understand what they are trying to say.
The praise and positive response they get from you will encourage them to try more words.
Don’t worry if they do not say a word ‘properly’ repeat back what they have said to them and say the word clearly. For example your baby might say ‘Duh’ for dog you can say ‘Yes that is a big dog’
Over time their words will become clearer and others will understand them more easily.
By the time they are two they could have about 50 clear words.
Top Tips for Everyday
Every day activities are really interesting to your baby it is all an opportunity to talk and play with you.
It will help them understand the world around them.
Just talking about what you and / or they are doing means they will hear a lot of words.
You can build special moments in your day that you and your baby can both look forward to.
• Turn off the TV and your phone and have story time ( or brick building time) get on your child’s level so they can see your face and hear you clearly – even a few minutes undisturbed time makes your child feel important and you can both concentrate on what you are saying to each other
• Nappy change and bath time can be a time for listening and talking with each other. Try singing songs and nursery rhymes. Peek-a-boo is a good ‘turn taking’ game that your baby will love
• Mealtimes can be a time for the family to talk about their day and enjoy time together
• Do the household chores with your little helper – talk about what you are doing, sing, dance it will be more fun for both of you. Supermarket trips are easier if you use it as an opportunity to point and show your baby the things around them
There is no TV, phone or tablet that can teach a baby more than you!
• Choose the times the TV is on and watch together so you can talk about what you see.
• Having the TV on in the background makes it harder for your baby to concentrate on new words and sounds
• Try and reduce the time you spend on your smartphone – your baby will learn more by having eye contact with you when you speak and will know they are important to you.
Get outside – a walk to the shop a trip to the park give your baby the chance to see and talk about different things with you and listen to different sounds.
Play is the way children learn best – and parents and carers are a baby’s favourite playmate. You don’t need expensive toys - just a few minutes at a time to have fun together.
• Get down at your baby’s level. Talk about what they are looking at.
• Describe what they are doing – use short simple sentences ‘you are holding the red car’ and make the noises ‘car goes brumm, brumm’
• Respond to the sounds and noises your child makes – even if you are not sure what they are saying take a guess – ‘yes that is your duck’ add some extra detail to what you think they are saying/thinking ‘ducks go quack don’t they?’
• Try action nursery rhymes like ‘row, row your boat’ or ‘wind the bobbin’ (you can find the words for lots of rhymes *here*) the rhythm and repeating words are loved by babies and help them learn in an easy fun way.
Who Can Help?
You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.
*Click Here* to speak to other Norfolk parents and carers on our online community forum.