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HELP ME GROW: Kick Start Your Baby’s Development by Talking to Them!

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2-1-1 HELP ME GROW: Kick Start Your Baby’s Development by Talking to Them!
Even before your child’s first words, they will develop their own unique way of communicating with you. As soon as your child is born start talking, singing and rhyming about anything and everything. Even before they walk or talk, babies learn by what they see, hear and feel. According to Zero to Three, most babies have a large vocabulary and can put words together to express their needs as early as age 2! Here are some ways in which you can encourage your baby to communicate broken down by age:

  • Birth to 3 months: sing and talk to your baby even though they won’t understand the words, plan quiet time for your baby to babble and play quietly without noise like the TV
  • 3 to 6 months:  talk to your baby, when your baby babbles say the sounds back to him/her
  • 6 to 9 months: play rhyming games like pat-a-cake, give him/her a toy and say something about it, let them see themselves in the mirror and ask “who is that?
  • 9 to 12 months: your baby will begin to understand simple words, make sure they stop to look at you when you say things like “no-no” or “where’s mommy/daddy?” show your baby how to wave “bye-bye”
  • 12 to 15 months: talk about everyday things you use like “cup,” or “toothbrush,” ask your child questions about pictures in books, ask about things you do each day like, “do you want milk or water?”
  • 15 to 18 months: ask your child questions like, “where’s your nose?” when your child points at or gives you something, talk about it like, “thank you for giving me the book back” or “thank you for giving me your cup”
  • 18 months to 2 years: ask your child to help you “please put on your shoe,” teach your child simple songs, encourage your child to talk to friends and family

If you are ever in doubt of the best practices to follow or are worried if your child’s development is on track, dial 2-1-1 Help Me Grow to put your mind at ease. This confidential and free service will put you in touch with an experienced specialist who will listen to you and get you the help you need.

© 2023. Delaware Division of Public Health.