Waiting for your toddler to say her first words? Do you feel he is taking longer than other toddlers her age and want to help her reach the talking milestone? Are you worried that she isn’t speaking, and you wish to encourage her to do so? Or are you too excited to hear her speak, and want to see if you can make her talk while having fun?
Whatever your reasons, if you are looking for ways on how to teach your toddler to talk naturally or need help on guiding your toddler to talk, read on to know more about it.
When Will My Toddler Start To Talk?
Before your toddler speaks her first words, the first cues you will hear are the sounds she makes as a baby. Even if she has been making these sounds for a while now, reaching the talking milestone can take some time. Typically, she will start speaking between the first and third year of life.
As with any other milestone, she will also reach the talking milestone at her pace and comfort. Some toddlers start speaking as soon as th
Of course as a parent, you want to see or rather hear her speak. Helping your toddler talk is a good way of quickening the talking process.
How To Teach Your Toddler To Talk?
Here are a few easy and fun ways in which you can encourage your toddler to talk:
1. Start With Signs:
The first step to get her to begin the talking journey is not words, but signs.
- Even as she is young, it is important that you begin communicating with her using sign language.
- The first few signs you use with her during babyhood are signs that will communicate basics like water, drink, milk, sleep, food, bye, hello, smile, good night and such. Using sign language to indicate needs will teach her that she needs to express herself and has to make you or others understand what she needs.
- For each sign you use, make sure you connect it with the right word. When you show her how to use the sign for milk, say the word ‘milk’ out loud. Similarly, use the words ‘sleep’ ‘hello’ ‘good night’ ‘food’ ‘eat’ ‘water’ ‘drink’ and more each time you show her the sign.
- Use the sign language consistently and also ensure you use the connecting words each time. Teach your partner and any other family member also to use the same with her. It will reinforce the words over and over in your toddler’s mind.
- She may not be able to copy your signs to perfection, but she will still create her version of it. As long as you can understand that she is copying the sign and express what she needs, it is a good start.
2. Talk Talk And Talk More:
Talking constantly to your toddler is one of the most important ways in which you can encourage her to talk.
- Your toddler will pick up her very first words from you! It is important that you constantly speak to her, even about very mundane everyday things. What you consider as regular and nothing special to talk about will open up a world of chatter for her.
- You do not always have to filter what you are saying in front of her as you speak to her. Of course, you cannot use words that you know you don’t want her to speak (a toddler will almost always pick out those words first that are not age-appropriate, so be careful). If you are cooking while she is playing near you, you can carry on a live update about the steps you are using to cook. Say things like I am taking the tomato. I am cutting the tomato. The red tomato. I am cooking. When you feed her, use phrases like ‘nice food’ ‘baby is eating’ ‘mamma is eating’ ‘I am hungry’ and easy and simple phrases. Repeat them over and over again.
- Once she gets the idea and can say a basic few words, take it a step further. For example, picture a scenario where you and your toddler are playing with a ball. She hands you the ball and calls it a ‘ball.’ When you hand the ball back to your toddler, add a few more descriptive words like ‘red ball’ or ‘big ball.’ You could also say phrases like ‘give me the ball’ or ‘thank you’ or ‘take’ or ‘give.’ Use phrases that are a little longer, comprising of three to five words. It will help your toddler connect the phrase to the action that you do.
3. Pronounce Each Word Correctly And Clearly:
While you are teaching toddlers to talk, it is important you make sure that she knows how to say the word that you teach her.
- The baby talk sounds cute. On many occasions, to make it understandable to your toddler, you may end up speaking like one yourself. Make sure you speak all the words correctly and in a clear tone. While introducing a new word to your toddler, speak it a little slower, so that your toddler can hear it properly. Also, make sure you put the right amount of stress on the right syllable. Your toddler will not be able to pronounce words exactly the way you do, but as long as she is trying, it is fine.
- Ask everyone at home to encourage regular speaking and not speak with a lisp or baby talk with your toddler. It will only confuse her more, as she will not be able to understand the correct way of saying something.
- Each time you talk to her, make sure you make an effort to get down to her eye level. It will help her see your lip movements and understand the word and intonations better. If required, repeat the sentence or phrase a few times. Every time you introduce a new word, use it in a few different ways through the day. Lay more emphasis on that particular word each time you use it so that she can recognize it easily. The more she hears the same word or phrase, she will learn to remember it better and use it more.