So you know your baby is learning to talk (well, babble that is, for now!), but now it’s time to teach him or her to have a conversation! This activity prompt helped me remember to guide her gibberish towards her first real give-and-take in language.
Today, whenever asking Veronika a question, I made sure to truly ask her. Make eye contact, and slow down your words. If the question pertains to a direct object (a bottle, a toy), pause and show it to your baby.
“Which toy would you like Veronika?” I asked. “The puzzle or the bumble bee?”
I gave her a moment to select her choice, both vocally and by hand (and mouth!).
The real key is to pause and wait for an answer. You might not get one at first, but soon, your baby will realize that this silence is meant to be filled.
“Would you like a rice cake, Veronika?”
“Would you like some oatmeal, Veronika?” That’s a no thank you!
Keep this up, and it will not only teach your child the fine art of back-and-forth in conversation, but also help them feel capable and important for making decisions.