How can I help my baby develop language?

Here are tips on how to help your baby develop language:

Talk and silly sounds

  • Talk to your baby during everyday activities. Talk about new places or situations as if they can understand you.
  • Keep your words simple and clear.
  • Teach your baby the names of familiar items, people and places.
  • Show interest in all the sounds you hear. Tell your baby about these sounds as if they can understand you. This can include ice clinking in a glass, rain falling outside or the doorbell ringing.

Play games and sing songs

  • Read colorful books or nursery rhymes to your baby every day. Point to the pictures as you say the names of the words.
  • Sing children’s songs. Your local library may host sing-a-longs and loan free music.
  • Play simple games, like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake.

Stay engaged

  • Look into your baby’s eyes when they make different sounds.
  • Respond to your baby’s coos, gurgles and babbling as if they were real words.
  • Show delight with your baby’s efforts to talk, make sounds or point to objects.
  • Limit screen time (the time your baby spends using a device with a screen)
Rev. 9/2018. Reviewed by the MGHfC Family Advisory Council. MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.