Birth - 12 months

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Birth – 12 months

Read!

Start reading to your new baby immediately!  They will enjoy sharing books and it will strengthen your bond and establish a regular reading routine.  Pick a good time for your daily reading time and also read whenever your baby is interested.  Make sure that when you are reading, the TV is off and there are no other distractions.  See Early Literacy Tips.

Talk!

Use every opportunity you have to talk to your baby!  While your baby is listening and imitating sounds that you make, they are taking their first steps towards acquiring language.  The more words that your child hears, the greater vocabulary they will have when they start school.  Research also shows that when parents converse often with their babies using parentese their children know a lot more words as toddlers.

  • Download the App Vroom which will teach you how to turn shared moments into brain building moments.
  • Tell your baby stories often.
  • Name and point to pictures and objects.
  • Describe to your baby what they see and what you are doing.  Encourage your baby to babble back.
  • While you are out, expose your baby to symbols, signs, letters, words and familiar sights.
  • See the article More Than Ears Learning to Listen. (English) (Spanish)
  • Sign up for the text-to-parents program Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing. (English) (Spanish)  This program sends tips for early language development to parents.
  • See  the article Talk With Your Baby.

9-12 Months

  • While looking at books, point to and name the pictures that your baby is looking at, touching or talking to.
  • Always ask questions about the book/pictures.

Play!

When you play and interact with your child, you are teaching them that language and reading is fun!  Here are many activities that include both.

  • Act out pictures using your hands, face and voice.
  • Play lap games and finger plays together.
  • Sing nursery rhymes and make up songs together.
  • Provide a variety of materials and textures for your baby to explore: fabric, water, soft things, sand, natural items.