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Strategies to Boost a 1 Year Old's Language Skills

Cognitive development for a 1 year old involves a complex learning process that takes into account the acquisition of language skills, as well as memory, reasoning and thinking. A 1 year old is at a crucial stage of their development as they are coming to learn the sound of their mother’s voice as well as what their own name is. They are also learning to focus on what they're looking at. They're not always look at everything from the corners of their eyes, but are able to concentrate on the center of an object or the center of another person’s face. Bear in mind that there is so much more to learning language than simply making sounds that resemble real words such as, “mama” or bubba”.

What is language development?

Language development involves listening to voices and sounds a baby hears as well as coming to understand what they all mean and learning the names of people as well as objects that are a part of their lives. That is one reason it is so important to constantly point to people and tell your baby their name and to teach your baby the names of objects such as ball, dog, towel, hat, rattle and so on. Teaching your baby the name’s of body parts such as nose, mouth, ears, eyes is essential for this stage in their language development. The bonds of love, attachment and trust are also developing at this time so make sure you play with your baby as well as cuddle and hold them as often as possible and in the most loving manner possible. This helps instill confidence in them, which is very important.

Ways to boost language development in baby

  • Always make it a practice to talk to your baby. Talk normally but do so in a comforting and soothing tone of voice.
  • When your baby makes sounds act as if she has said a real word and elaborate on what she has uttered by repeating the sound back to her and adding other words to it as well. This helps to encourage the development of language skills.
  • Read stories to your babies. This will help them to both develop as well as come to understand a variety of different sounds and words.
  • Sing songs to your baby whenever you can (even if you do not know all of the words to the songs).
  • Praise and encourage your baby constantly and shower her with your attention and love.
  • Play music for your baby. This helps to encourage a love for words expressed in musical form. If you have a mobile that makes music then make sure you turn it on for your baby to listen to.
  • Spend as much time as possible holding your baby, cuddling her and playing fun games with her. Not only is this a learning experience but also it makes her feel loved and secure.
  • Play with your baby when she is relaxed, energized and alert and not when she is grouchy, sleepy or hungry.

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