Your Newborn and Vowels

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mother and childDo you think it’s too early to start teaching your baby vowels? Think again! Although it will be quite a while before he or she learns them in the conventional sense, speech language pathologists (SLPs) recommend that you begin encouraging your infant to make vowel sounds as early as birth. Because your baby is born with an innate desire to communicate with you and others, this shouldn’t be a difficult task. In fact, your child’s language acquisition is likely to be one of the most fascinating things you witness in your lifetime. Read on for tips on how to encourage your baby’s speech and language development right from the start!

  • Focus on Phonemes
    Don’t worry; knowing exactly what a phoneme is really isn’t necessary as this is something that comes natural to most parents. Simply begin making simple vowel sounds like “aaaah,” “eee,” “ohhhh,”… you get the point. If you feel silly doing this, either embrace it as a feeling you’ll experience many times throughout your life as a parent, or rely on some nursery rhymes for help such as the classic “Old MacDonald.” You’ll no doubt be able to get some vowel-consonant blends in too as you help your little one learn to say “ma ma,” “da da,” and “ba ba.”
  • Use Body Language
    Whether or not you decide to jump on the “baby signs” bandwagon, your baby will no doubt benefit from your use of body language, such as eye contact, imitation, and gestures. Try mimicking the expressions your baby makes to let him know that you’re aware of his attempts to communicate. Knowing that his efforts are being noticed will encourage your youngster to continue attempting new communication strategies, including making sounds and eventually talking!
  • Talk Her Ears Off
    With any luck, she’ll be talking your ears off soon, so gab it up while you still have a chance to get a word in edgewise. Experts say that the earlier and more often you engage your little one in conversation, the better she’ll be able to grasp the art of human conversation. Don’t worry if she doesn’t understand every word at first. Just hearing the rhythm and intonation of your voice helps her absorb the natural cadence of the language—not to mention the fact that the more she associates your words and tone of voice with objects, ideas, and feelings, the faster her internal lexicon will grow. Once she starts speaking, you’ll be amazed at the number of different words she’s amassed.

As you attempt to provide your baby with the most stimulating and nurturing environment possible for her language development to blossom, you should also keep in mind that every child develops language at their own unique pace. The strategies listed above should be utilized in a fun and light-hearted manner, and never forced. If it turns out that your child does end up being a late talker despite your efforts, don’t worry. This doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s an underlying problem to blame; your child may just be taking her time and waiting until the moment is right for her. Until then, enjoy the quiet, and if it helps put your mind to rest, talk to your pediatrician about any concerns you have concerning your child’s language acquisition.

What do you think? Your Newborn and Vowels

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20 comments

  1. Avatar of Alanna Alanna says:

    I can’t wait to talk to my baby!

  2. Avatar of debbie debbie says:

    I love talking and using body language with my son!

  3. Avatar of Sadie Sadie says:

    i think its neat that a baby can learn so early

  4. Avatar of Kris Kris says:

    Great article! I wish more parents would read this!

  5. Avatar of Claudia Claudia says:

    I found this article extremely helpful. I am starting to show my baby sign language and i will start using the tips of this article.

  6. Avatar of BYoungster BYoungster says:

    My baby girl talks all day long ;)

  7. Avatar of liz liz says:

    this article is very true.I tired it with my oldest son he is 5 now; when he was a baby I had conversations with him, imitated every sound he made, and repeated every word he said to me in the correct form. This help him a lot he had a speech delay and his therapist that doing all that I did for him help for his speech. Jafed talks beautifully and no one will think this child had a speech delay. Now I’m doing the same with my newborn.

  8. Avatar of bmattler92 bmattler92 says:

    i have been talking and signing to my son since the day he was born I cant wait to see how it affects his development

  9. i’ll try this later on today, and me and my mother already talk her ears off,lol

  10. We do this all the time! Our son is very vocal!

  11. I can tell my baby is trying to "talk" it’s so cute =]

  12. Avatar of Sierra-Dawn Sierra-Dawn says:

    Every time my son makes a coo I try to mimic the sound he made

  13. Avatar of Amanda Amanda says:

    will have to try this!

  14. Avatar of oangie oangie says:

    my baby boy loves to talk alot

  15. Avatar of emi285 emi285 says:

    All but one of my kids were early talkers…I give credit to the fact that all I do is talk to them constantaly!

  16. Avatar of marichinno marichinno says:

    Great article never thought of teach infants as early as newborn.

  17. Avatar of sandra sandra says:

    I think it’s a great idea, it’s never too early to start teaching your children.

  18. Avatar of meredith meredith says:

    Never thought about teaching vowels specifically, interesting.

  19. Avatar of revogurl06 revogurl06 says:

    she is already talking up a storm

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