As the baby grows up it is important to respond to the attempts to communicate. For example, if the child shakes her head, treat that behaviour as if saying ‘No’. If she points to a toy, respond as if the child is saying, ‘Can I have that?’ or ‘I like that’. When tuned in and respond to the child, it encourages the child to communicate. Talk about what’s happening even if the baby doesn’t understand – the baby soon will. Just use lots of different words.
Introducing new words: It’s important for children to be continually exposed to lots of different words in lots of different contexts. This helps them learn the meaning and function of words in their world. Reading with your baby: Keep using more complex books as he grows. Talk about the pictures. Use a variety of books and link to what’s happening in child’s life. Books with interesting pictures are a great focus for talking. Read aloud with your child and point to words as you say them.
If the child starts a conversation through talking, gesture or behaviour, respond to it, making sure to stick to the topic the child started. It will be better to repeat and build on what the child says. For example, if the child says, ‘Apple,’ repeat is, ‘You want an apple. You want a red apple. I want a red apple too. Let’s have a red apple together’.