You can help your little one to learn how to talk to you by making noises and having fun.
You read that correctly.
Way before talking develops (from birth, actually) your little one is learning prelinguistic skills. This just means they are learning the non-verbal skills that we all use to engage with one another. Making noises together shows your little one that they can make noise, use their mouthes, get someone's attention, take turns, make someone laugh, copy someone, look at someone when they're communicating and much much more. Because they can't practice those things with words yet, you can practice with noises.
Prelinguistic skills are building blocks for learning to talk. Whilst your baby can't speak to you yet - they can probably have fun making noises with you which teaches them how to:
- take turns
- look and listen
- understand facial expressions
- anticipate what's coming next
- copy you
- be engaged in the same thing as you
- understand others
- express themselves
So being noisy together can really help their communication develop.
Look for opportunities to make noises together. Copy the noises they make and show them new ones. Make their teddies make silly noises. Have the characters in stories do silly things. Choose books that have people cough, sneeze or shush.
Your little one is probably ready to make noises with you from approx 9 months onwards, but you can model this for them and try way sooner than that. Golden rule: if they're not talking yet then try this!
What noises do you make with your child?