Sometimes parents are concerned that their baby is not exhibiting the language development they expect at a certain age. The following are some general tips to encourage your child to develop their language skills further, however if you have concerns we would always encourage you to share these with your Maternal Child Health Nurse, General Practitioner or a Speech Pathologist.
- Chat to your baby throughout the day about what you are doing, including labelling different objects in the environment.
- Engage in social songs and games, such as ‘Round and Round the Garden” and “Peekaboo”.
- Read to your child regularly.
- Notice and build on your child’s interests, i.e. if they point to something in the distance, talk about this (e.g. “Wow that is a red bird! Look how high it can fly in the sky!”).
- Minimise ‘screen time’ in the form of television and devices (it is recommended that children under the age of 2 years not be exposed to screen time at all).
- Imitate your child’s babbling.
- Use regular words during interactions with your child (rather than simplifying your language to ‘baby talk’).
Olivia Smith is an endorsed Educational and Developmental Psychologist and is a strong believer in the importance of working collaboratively with families and other professionals to ensure a holistic approach to child wellbeing. She is passionate about advocating for and working with children presenting with anxiety and/or neurodiversity (e.g. ASD, ADHD and specific learning disorders) and their families. Olivia strives to make therapy sessions engaging, effective and applicable to everyday life, and views the relationship between child and therapist as key to success. She is also a certified SOS-feeding therapist.
Have you seen our founder Amanda Abel’s new online school for parents? It’s called The Psychology Room and her first course has been lauched – The Good Night Toolbox – with tools for parents to help their child get to sleep at night. Check it out here!