Speech in the First Year

A child needs enough (but not too much) of quality stimuli for a proper healthy development. The most important factors for the development of proper speech are our voice, our speech, a warm approach, positive feedback, a calm environment and a feeling of security.

 

Every healthy child wants to talk. We lead by example and he will try to imitate us. That’s why we should talk to our children as much as possible. Our voice should be calm, warm and distinctive; with a natural intonation. An infant doesn’t care what we are saying, but how we are saying. He perceives our intonation, pace, timbre, the strength of our voice and rhythm.

 

Your Voice is the Most Important For Your Child´s Speech

The essential factor for the development of speech is the perception of rhythm. We should talk rhythmically to our child, read him rhymes and just overall make our words rhythmical. Don’t think about how good or bad your voice is, just try to be imaginative.

We should talk rhythmically and melodically during everyday activities such as bathing, dressing, while on a walk, while holding the baby, etc. It should be a regular, rhythmical ascending and descending of our voice on 2 or 3 tones (For example: Just-in is play-ing with his te-ddy bear).

We often talk rhythmically and melodically naturally without even realizing it. This is very important and that’s why a child should hear melodious speech as much as possible. Gradually, we should include children’s songs and rhymes.

Try not to replace your own voice with professional recordings of actors or singers. Our voice is the most important for our child and no other voice can replace it.

Background sounds

In order for the child to be able to recognize and differentiate the quality of sounds, it’s also necessary to offer him a quiet and calm environment. We adults often don’t even notice background sounds, but for children it’s harmful if the TV or music are on all the time.

 

Breastfeeding as practice

The muscles of the mouth that we need in order to articulate, primarily serve for sucking and swallowing purposes, the basis is quality muscle coordination. The main way for an infant to train this coordination is by eating.

At first, its breastfeeding, which is very important for an overall development of a child in many ways.  Later it’s chewing, biting and drinking out of a cup. In order for a child to correctly use his mouth muscles, he has to experiment with them and discover them. That’s why it’s only natural, that he sticks his fingers and other object into his mouth. We should let our child do that, but ensure it is safe and hygienic.

 

Pacifier

If you give your child a pacifier, try to give it to him as little as possible. A long-term use of a pacifier can have an effect on jaw development and it prevents the child from talking. An active, satisfied, or a sleeping baby does not need a pacifier.

When a child starts teething, we should start using a special toothbrush for toddlers. This way, we help our child develop proper hygienic habits.

 

Toys

For the sake of a full psychomotor development of a child, its necessary to get him appropriate toys. They should help him further develop his senses – touch, hearing, sight, smell and taste (whistling toys, rattles, bath toys, colored wooden blocks, buckets, balls, rings on a rod, cloth toys, simple picture folding books, etc.)

We should be picky and prefer toys from quality materials – definitely put quality before price. Toys could also be everyday things that children see „in action“: a mug, a spoon, a box, a comb, etc. In these cases, make sure your child doesn’t hurt himself or break the object he is playing with.

 

Love is number one

If we want to develop proper speech in our child, we should talk to him a lot, appeal to his senses, sing to him, play with him, read books with him and help him discover the world around him. We help him make the most of his own potential.

We give him a chance to learn the basics of correct and content- rich speech. But even the best material equipment can’t replace an emotionally warm and loving environment.

Only such environment, where the child will feel loved and protected, will give him an opportunity to develop his abilities and his speech.  

 

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