One question we get asked all the time at Speech Sisters is...how can I get my baby to start babbling?Babbling often starts between 4-8 months of age.Babbling is important because it is a stepping stone that a baby must cross before they can start saying real words. If your baby is not babbling yet, here are 5 tips on how you can help your baby babble away!
1. Get eye to eye with your baby so they can see your face and mouth.
All babies are actually born with “Mirror Neurons”. It is something in the brain that tells a person to do what they see. For example, a week after I brought Stella home from the hospital I stuck my tongue out at her and she copied me!! I thought she may be a baby genius...but the truth is, her mirror neurons were firing and allowed her to COPY what she saw me do. This is also true for hearing sounds, words, and learning language. Mirror neurons provide an opportunity for a baby to learn language through copying and interacting with you.
2. YOU model babbling first.
This can feel silly, but it is SO important. Just start saying “dadada” OR “mamama” OR “bababa” a few times ...and see if your baby will vocalize anything back. Do this every day, several times a day. You can even babble into a real word to make it meaningful. Try saying, ”ba-ba-ba-ball” while holding a ball. Remember, you don’t want to only babble...continue to talk to your baby too.
3. Remember to always WAIT a few seconds afterward to give your baby the opportunity to respond.
This is SO tough. Waiting feels weird and it is definitely not easy for us grownups. But in order for your baby to reciprocate, you need to provide “think time” - after that they may just make a vocalization!
4. Use a “parentese” speaking style.
(An exaggerated, higher-pitched voice), which research shows is so beneficial to a baby’s language comprehension. This is known to capture a baby’s attention and keep them engaged!
5. Once your baby babbles- babble back!
BE EXCITED and ANIMATED! Your baby will start to understand that those vocalizations pleased you and they will then want to continue this copy cat game. Babies are more motivated to imitate when it is fun and positive!If you want to learn how to get your baby moving up “THE NOISY STEPS” from cooing to babbling to saying first words, check out our online course called Talk On Track. This will walk you through the mentioned tips above in much more detail, show you live demonstration videos….and many more tools too!
To learn simple and effective strategies to help get your little one talking, check out our Talk on Track (newborn-14 months) and Time to Talk: Toddler Course (15-36 months). We’d love to equip you to experience the joy of your little one talking to you!