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A Mother’s Dilemma – What to do when baby doesn’t start talking

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One of the major accomplishments as a parent is when the baby utters his/her first word. I can vividly remember the day. Me and my husband were so overjoyed, so emotionally overwhelmed that I can not express it in words properly. But I can also remember how hard we tried to make sure our baby will talk at the right time. I am no expert, but I can give some suggestions from my point of view which may help you if your baby has not started talking yet.

I can recall the day when my baby started babbling with a few rods. She was seven months old then, just started to crawl on her own. I knew this was the start of the journey, so I noted in my notebook. I studied that according to specialists babies should start babbling before 9 months. Before 12 months, she should start showing gestures. And before 16 months, she should utter her first word properly. I kept a timeline of these events and kept tabs on whether my baby’s milestones were as per timeline or not. To my great relief, she started everything at the right time.

But again, these are all theories. I should say, every mother has a sixth sense for her baby. She may feel if anything is not right. For me, I always kept a keen eye on my baby. From the very early age of a few months when she just started to show a response, we started to talk with her. When she was awake my and my husband talked to each other as if we were talking with our baby. Somewhere I read that the more you talk to your baby the more she will get better at understanding language. Also, babies demand attention. As she crossed six months, then she became more proactive showing responses. Sometimes she started to yell if we did not pay any attention to her or overlook her for a certain period.

I think this is the key: communicating properly. Especially for a toddler, a mother should focus on what the baby is trying to say. Sometimes parents are more worried when the baby can not utter words clearly. I think if the baby starts to communicate, then it’s a matter of time to talk clearly. Patience is the key here. Don’t rush and don’t be restless if your baby starts talking late. Utter your words slowly and clearly so that she listens to it very carefully. Also repeat back what you hear when your toddler is trying to say something to you, even if she does not say it properly.

As my baby was growing up a bit and started to utter ‘papa or mama’, we started to talk with her like an adult. We asked her if she would eat now. I knew, my baby could not understand what I was saying. But as she tried to communicate and giggled I gave her a kiss of appreciation. She knew, for every word she uttered, it would be more fun for her. So appreciation is another very important thing for a child.

Another important thing for a toddler is to familiarize his/her with the objects. As a mother, I started to utter the things which we used regularly in the house so that she should understand what I was doing. For example, “Shoes off” you could say, removing her shoes. Then “socks off”, removing her socks. Get your toddler’s attention by saying her name and making eye contact with her. Make reading from the book a daily habit for your toddler. Even if you don’t read the story word-for-word, she’ll learn by listening to you talking about the pictures. Rhymes are other important things that you can start from the first few months for your baby. I sang quite a lot of lullabies to my baby , often which I thought helped her start talking. Also talk with her a lot more about her toys, her daily activities. Make this a fun time for your kid. Believe me, this will help you a lot.

Don’t be tensed if your baby starts talking a bit late. Just check if she wants to communicate, and help her do it properly. Don’t rush things and try to make talking a fun activity for your kid.

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