Authors of new book, ‘Small Talk: Simple Ways to Boost Your Child’s Speech and Language Skills From Birth’ Nicola Lathey and Tracey Blake encourage parents to start talking to their babies from birth to not just get them ‘chatting’ at just 4 weeks old but to boost their brainpower and language skills for life.
Nicola Lathey is a speech therapist with a specialism in children under the age of five and coached her friend Tracey in how to get her two young children Minnie and Monty to talk and communicate more eloquently way before any of their peers did.
Using the ‘art of turn taking’, which is an early form of conversation, you can teach your baby to ‘chat’. You simply keep eye contact with your baby and wait for her to make a noise.
Then when she pauses, its your turn to babble something about the same length back to her, pause again and look into your baby’s eyes and wait for her to respond.
Tracey and Nicola explain that babies in utero begin recognising their mother’s voice at around 24 weeks so it’s never too early to start! The more you talk to your baby, the more in tune with language they will be.
Simple exercises like saying what you see, looking into your baby’s eyes when you talk to her, speaking clearly, giving her regular and enthusiastic praise and lots of repetition all help your baby develop her language and conversation skills at a very early age.
How old was your child when they started to speak?