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4 tips to enhance your baby's language

1. Narrate. While this may feel a bit foreign or strange at first to talk out loud about something you normally wouldn't to a baby who can't even speak yet, it is a great opportunity to expose your baby to words and language throughout the day. Repeated exposure to these concepts will especially help baby learn the words, intonations, and the beginnings of social interaction with others.

2. Imitate. Babies learn to communicate with us by imitating what they see, and they learn to imitate when we imitate them. Once your baby comes home from the hospital, spend time face-to-face each day imitating and repeating your baby's sounds and facial expressions. Over time, the baby learns to react in a back-and-forth interaction as a basis for later imitation of gestures, sounds and words.

3. Simplify: Use shorter, 2-4 word sentences when speaking to your baby to make is easier for your baby to understand what you're saying to them r (e.g., Look! A dog.”).

4. Baby talk: Surprisingly to some, speaking in “baby talk” is actually helpful to your new baby as they learn language. Parents in all cultures and languages use a form of simplified higher-pitched, sing-song speech when interacting with babies, and there is good reason. Baby talk is more repetitive, simpler, slower, and exaggerates each sound in words so babies can more easily understand what they are hearing.

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