Checklist: Simple Ways to Start Talking to Your Baby

You already know that talking to your baby develops her language skills. Feeling tongue-tied? Here are a few conversation starters.

___ Read him your To-Do lists--like what you need to pick up at the grocery store, errands you have to run while you're waiting in line at the bank, etc.

___ Play tour guide as you take a stroll or go for a drive, and point out objects of interest. (Ooh look, a big yellow truck! See that furry doggie over there?)

___ Read books and magazine articles out loud (just hearing your voice engages him, no matter what the topic is.)

___ Bring him to a museum and stop to comment on each picture--pointing out people, animals and shapes.

___ Pick up on your baby's mood and empathize with how he's feeling ("I'm sorry you're so upset," or "What a happy boy you are right now!") to teach him to recognize emotions.

___ Be animated! The more excited and engaging your voice is and the bigger gestures you use, the more he'll pay attention to what you're saying.

___ Vary your tone and facial expressions--another baby attention-getter!

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