My first born started talking when he was less than a year old. My second born started blabbing when he was one and only later that he was able to speak clearly (he is turning 7 this March). My third son speaks clearly when he was two but now that he is three, he baby talks a lot. My youngest girl started talking when she was a year old too. Now that she is 2, she can clearly say almost every word. Yesterday she said to my husband: “Daddy, tingnan mo nga ung Mommy ko.” (- I slept the whole afternoon and she was already worried about me)
When I gave birth to my first born son, I talked to him in the mornings, evenings and as while I was feeding him. It must be the reason why he learned how to speak clearly at an early age. With my second son, I did not got the chance to to talk to him as much as I did to my first born. And it must the reason why his speech was delayed. As I read articles from articles about speech and based on my own experience, I learned that a child develops differently from other child and as parents, the most we can do is help them and not force them.
So what can we do as parents to help our kids in the speech department? How can we teach our kids how to talk?
Learning how to talk starts with the sounds the kids can hear. It starts even before they are born. And as most of you will remember, we were advised to talk to our babies while they were still in our tummy. It doesn’t stop there, as your baby is born, learn the habit of talking to him, updating him what is happening around him. You can also make a recap of what he did the whole day. You can ask your baby what he did, answer it for him.
Always tell your baby what you are doing to him (and yes this applies to older kids too). If you are bathing him, tell him you’re shampooing his head, if you are doing it. Tell him his body parts as you soap it. This way, you’re not just helping your baby to speak but also teaching him the basics of human body.
Reading to your baby also helps a lot. Take 30 minutes or more off your time and read to him. You don’t have to read stories or a book, just get something with pictures on it and point out the pictures as you go on. Saying out loud the name of the things on the photos. You can even take out your albums and let him see his your family pictures and tell him about your family. The key here is that he will learn how to associate words with photos. Another great way to help your baby learn to talk is to sing to him.
When talking to your baby specially if he already trying to talk too, always repeat the words and also let him repeat it. Every time he says a word, repeat it clearly and ask him to do the same. Never use baby talk when talking to them. He wouldn’t get it for the first or second time or even for the third time but eventually he would learn. You have to remember though that you must not any signs of frustration or impatience with this activity.
You also have to know that babies learn in two different ways. There are those who learn visually and those that learn through auditory or hearing. If your baby is a visual learner, more often than not, he would have a delay on speech. If you’re baby is an auditory learner, most likely than not, they would speak early. Based on my observations, most girls are auditory learners hence they speak earlier than boys.
But talking aside, it is more important that your baby learns to communicate. Talking and knowing how to communicate is two different thins. Sure a baby or a toddler can talk non stop, telling stories but till it is how they tell their feelings or how they tell what they want that matters.
So if you are a mom who worries that your kid/ baby is not talking or his/her speech is delayed, don’t stress yourself, worry if your toddlers does not even know how to ask for milk or ask for his mommy.