Encourage Your Baby to Talk By Narrating Your Day
There’s nothing more fun than when baby starts to talk! You get to see their face light up as they say their first words, or figure out how to tell you what they want. It’s an exciting milestone for every baby!
How can you encourage baby to talk? Or if they are talking, how can you teach baby new words? Turns out, helping baby to talk starts long before they say their first words. Babies learn to talk and say new words by hearing and watching you communicate! That’s why it’s important to expose baby to language from a young age.
But how can you do this if baby can’t talk back just yet? Try “narrating your day” to encourage baby to talk, help increase their vocabulary, and strengthen baby’s communication skills. It’s so easy and fun to do!
Narrating is the action of saying what is happening while something is happening. So for example, if you say “I’m cutting an apple” while cutting an apple, you’re narrating that action. There is no wrong way to “narrate your day,” but there are some tips and tricks that can expose baby to more words and sounds. Try out these tips while narrating your day!
Describe with detail: When narrating, don’t just describe the basics—get detailed with it! This helps teach baby new words, and how to use those words.
Instead of: “I am petting the dog.”
Try: “I am petting the fluffy dog.”
Tell baby what they are doing: When we narrate, we usually only think about what is happening to us. But it’s important to also describe how baby may be feeling, especially when it comes to sensory experiences! This is sometimes called parallel talk, and it happens when parents describe what baby is doing, or what is happening to baby.
Instead of: “I am giving you a bath.”
Try: “You are taking a bath. Do you feel the water? The water is wet and warm.”
Emphasize new words: Even if baby isn’t speaking yet, this can help them hear and connect new words to different routines or experiences.
Instead of: “Look at that big dog.”
Try: “Look at that BIG dog.”
“Look at the red car.”
“We are at this big grocery store. Look at the yellow bananas!”
Use short sentences: Keep it short and sweet! Baby will understand better with little bits of information at a time.
Instead of: “I am washing the dish and drying the dish that your grandma gave me many years ago!”
Try: “I am washing the blue dish. Now I am drying the dish. This dish is so clean!”
Have fun with it! Narrating doesn’t need to be boring! Make sounds and sing songs. If you’re having fun, baby will too!
Instead of: “These are your barn animals. There is a pig and a cow.”
Try: “You’re playing with your barn animals! What sound does the pink pig make? The pig goes oink oink! What sounds does the cow make? The cow goes moooo!”
You don’t need to narrate the entire day, or every detail to encourage baby to talk and teach them new words. It just helps to talk to your baby during the day, and especially while doing activities with them, such as feeding time or Tummy Time. The more they hear language, the better for their communication skills!