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Communication, Babies 6-18 Months

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To do list from the book Bright from the Start, Jill Stamm, Gotham Books

  • At the beginning of this stage (6-9 months), sometimes use parentese intentionally to stimulate distinct language-processing areas of the brain and extend baby’s attention span, then transition to child-direct speech in a conversational tone and speed.

  • Talk frequently all day long, describing actions and objects that are encountered in the daily routine (while dressing, changing, feeding, shopping, cleaning, preparing meals etc.).

  • Modulate voice and facial expressions and vary intonation to match levels of enthusiasm, emotion and meaning.

  • Talk face-to-face at a distance at which baby can clearly see your mouth and facial expressions as you speak.

  • Use a second language naturalistically if you are bilingual.

  • Introduce music at different times throughtout the day and sing simple songs.

  • Hang photos for the baby to look at while in crib, carriege, car seat, or on the floor to encourage early visual discrimination.

  • Deliberately point out and label objects by their name (e.g., light switch, door, cupboard, dish, etc.).

  • Deliberately point out and label simple attributes of objects (e.g., smooth, rought, ot, big, square, round, blue, red, stripped, wet, etc.).

  • Deliberately point out objects that are the same, or different in one dimension {e.g., smooth/rough, hot/cold, big/little, up/down, over/under, open9shut, wet/dry, etc.).

  • Deliberately label and discuss feelings (e.g. tired, hungry, happy, mad, hurt, etc.).

  • Treat any signs of ear infections quick by getting medical help.

  • Hold baby and read plastic, cardboard, or cloth books daily in order to share new words and repeat reading familiar books that the baby enjoys,

  • Frequently read rhyming stories or play with rhyming word with the baby, pointing out how/where words sound alike and sound different (e.g., rat, hat, sat, bat, etc.).

  • Provide building blocks for stacking to foster eye-hand coordination needed for writing.

  • Provide opportunities for the baby to pick up tiny pieces of bread, Cheerious, banana, etc.; for practise with fine motor skills.

  • Introduce books with one or two sentences per page.

  • Allow baby to turn pages of cardboard book.

  • Play while reading (e.g., act silly by making animal sounds).

  • Invite participation by asking, “What doeas the dog say?” or aks baby to point to real life objects pictured in his favorite books.

  • Read the same book or story over and over.

  • Hold baby close while reading.

  • Make facial expressions while reading.


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