Smiling toddler outside

Tips for helping your baby to talk

Hints and tips to help your little one get the hang of talking and strengthen the close bond you share

Talking tips

By chatting to your baby from the moment they arrive, you'll help them to understand the idea of a conversation. Once your child can say around 100 individual words, he or she will start to put short sentences together. This normally happens around the age of two.

Here are some starting points for helping your toddler to talk.

Story telling:

Start looking at books with your baby from an early age. You don't have to read the words, just talk to your little one about what you can see.

Show and tell:

Point out things to your toddler when you see them, for example, 'there's a car.' Then add more detail, 'there's a blue car.'

Mum and baby reading together

Music to your ears:

Nursery rhymes and simple songs are a great way for children to learn as the rhythm helps the words to sink in.

Small talk:

If you start to repeat the sounds your baby makes back to them, your baby will learn to copy you.

Baby singing and clapping

Speak their language:

Use short, simple sentences. Once your little one starts talking, use sentences that are one or two words longer than their own.

Decisions, decisions:

You can help encourage them to talk and increase their vocabulary by giving them choices, for example, 'would you like an apple or a banana?'

Mum and baby playing

Over to you:

Give your little one the chance to talk whenever or wherever you can such as in the bath or the car. Prompt them by asking them simple questions.

Right from wrong:

If your child is trying to say a word but gets it wrong, say the word in full, but don't tell them off for giving it a try!

Smiling baby outside

Take it in turns:

Playing games where you have to take turns, for example Round and Round the Garden, will also help their language to develop.

The last word:

Try to restrict their use of a dummy until bedtime as it's harder to learn to talk when you have a dummy in your mouth!

Baby playing peepo

Talking shop

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