- What Families Can Do -

Language Nutrition is free! Parents don’t have to have puzzles, fancy toys, or even be able to read. All parents have to do is talk, interact, and engage with their children in every day life conversations. Here are the basic guidelines for talking with your baby.

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FEED YOUR BABY’S BRAIN

All parents want the best for their baby. And we know healthy food helps grow a healthy baby. But to grow a healthy brain, babies need more. Babies need lots of loving words.
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Speak Your Home Language

Language nutrition is healthy in any language! Talk with your baby in the language you are most comfortable speaking. Read and tell stories in your home language. If you are not comfortable reading, point to the illustrations and tell your own story.
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USE LOTS OF LOVING WORDS

Babies respond best to lots of loving words, including words of encouragement, praise and questions. Avoid using directives such as “No, Stop, Be quiet” and instead use positive words and speak in a happy voice.
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SPEAK USING PARENTESE

Parentese is a unique approach to speaking that serves to get and keep the baby’s attention. Speak in a melodic tone and use a higher pitch than when you normally speak. Use short, simple sentences, with well-formed, elongated consonants and vowels.

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GET EVERYONE INVOLVED

Encourage everyone who spends time with your baby to talk with them, including babysitters, daycare workers, hospital and clinic staff, friends and grandparents.
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TALK WITH YOUR BELLY

Your baby can hear you and begins to learn language while still in utero. Fetuses hear and respond to sounds, so make sure you are talking and singing to your belly.
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REPEAT EVERYTHING

Babies need to hear words and simple sentences over and over again before they start to sink in, so repeat, repeat, repeat!
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USE FACIAL EXPRESSIONS

Language is developed through social communication as well as verbal, so be sure to use eye contact, make facial expressions, smile, and gesture while you talk with your baby.
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LET BABY TAKE THE LEAD

Pay attention to what interests your baby and respond to their direction by reacting to them and describing their actions and surroundings.
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SERVE AND RETURN

Ask your baby questions and then pause before continuing, to allow time for the baby to respond, either vocally or through social communication. This back and forth interaction will advance your baby’s language acquisition and teach them how conversation works.

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LIMIT TEACHING WITH SCREENS

Avoid using TV, digital games or audio recordings for language development. These techniques do not have the same benefit as adult-child language interactions.
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TALK, READ, SING

Look for opportunities to talk in every situation, from the time your baby wakes until they fall asleep. Narrate your day and your baby’s actions, read books, tell stories, and sing songs.
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TELL A FRIEND

Share the message of Talk With Me Baby™ with any and every person you know who has a baby in their life. Share our message by following us on social media or directing friends and family to this website.
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The most effective action you can take to increase your baby’s educational opportunities and future success is to talk with your baby every day.

DOWNLOAD THE APP

Language nutrition on-the-go! Download our free app to get weekly lessons, track your baby’s milestones, get talking tips, and share your own experiences talking with your baby.
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Talk With Me Baby is made possible by a grant from the United Way of Atlanta and is a collaborative effort among organizations.