In previous posts, I’ve talked about the importance and the milestones to pay attention to for babbling.
But, what can you do to help encourage your child to babble? There are some activities and ways to interact with your baby that can help encourage babbling.
Here are some tips to help you focus on your child’s babbling and know you can respond to it to encourage speech development:
Observe your baby: One thing you can do is observe your baby when he is babbling. Sometimes babies make sounds to make sounds but other times they are actually trying to tell you something. They’re making noise to communicate to you in the only way they know how! So, if your baby is looking at you or looking at something else as he is babbling, he may be trying to get your attention. Watching your baby for these little cues will go along way. Responding to him when he is trying to get your attention will encourage him to babble.
Wait for your baby to babble: Talking to your baby and talking about things around you with your baby is a great strategy! But, sometimes it’s also good to wait and see if your baby will initiate babbling with you. Try something nothing sometimes and just looking at your baby, they might start babbling and that’s great! I like to talk a little bit with a baby and then take a brief pause and see if they will babble back to me!
Imitate what your baby does: If your baby is babbling away, copy what he does! It’s a great way to show that you’re paying attention to him and encourage him to babble more. Motivation is a big thing. If he’s babbling away and he never gets a response, what reason does he have to keep doing it? Sometimes you can go back and forth with your baby, which is great for encouraging babbling but also great for turn-talking. Turn-taking for conversations, games and more!
Give your baby the words: Another thing you can do along with imitation is to give your baby the words. If he’s looking at the dog and babbling, you can say, “hi dog” or “Hi Pipa” (one of my dog’s names). This is another way to motivate him to babble but also to begin exposing him to words and help build is vocabulary!
Help your baby babble during tummy time: Did you know that Tummy Time is not only important for crawling and motor development but that babies who are given a significant amount of tummy time tend to babble early and have less trouble with the development of speech sounds? It’s true. From 4-5 weeks and older babies’ senses and neurons are developing quickly. The position of babies in tummy time allows them to feel more surface, develop their muscles, and begin to coo. So try some tummy time next time while babbling!
There are many great ways to encourage babbling at home with your little one. For more ideas or questions, contact Marissa Doletzky at Rockford Speech Therapy.