Encouraging your baby to begin talking

Here are some tips that will help you encourage your baby to begin talking.

  • Try to respond to whatever type of communication your child makes, such as pointing and gesturing.
  • Provide your child with a model for conversation. For example, ask some questions and talk about what your child is doing and what you and other family members are doing.
  • Try to speak slowly, naturally and clearly to your child.
  • Read stories together.
  • Give your child lots of opportunity to be with other children to hear their conversations.
  • Try to help by putting your child’s feelings into words in situations that make him frustrated.
  • Sing and dance to music together.

If you find that your child makes no attempt to speak by 18 months, doesn’t use many gestures to communicate, or seems to have trouble understanding what is said, discuss this with your child’s physician, or call the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists at 1-800-259-8519.