Learning to talk
Research shows that when parents talk to their babies, it helps them to learn how to talk and think. Parents don't "teach" children to talk, but they can help their baby to learn. First, you are a role model for him to copy. And second, he needs chances to practice making sounds and receive praise from you when he does.
Even when you aren't playing, talk to your baby! Keep sentences short and simple. When you're cooking or cleaning, put her in a safe spot in an infant seat so she can watch you. Talk to baby about what you're doing. Show her vegetables and talk about their colors and sizes, for example.
Bath time is a good time to play "This Little Piggy," point out baby's body parts, and talk about water. Naming games, like "Where are Jimmy's toes?" help your child learn the meaning of words.
Encourage baby to "talk" by talking to him, and pausing to give him a chance to answer. Even if baby smiles or waves his arms instead of making a sound, he is learning that conversation is a two-way street.
At this age, baby makes mostly vowel sounds like ah, ay, oo and oh. Baby probably says them over and over as if practicing. Soon your child will make consonant sounds too. What about baby talk? Baby talk, like "Isn't oo mama's precious uzzums," probably doesn't help your baby learn to talk because it's hard to understand, and some of the words don't mean anything.
There is another kind of baby talk that is useful. Researchers call it "Motherese." Motherese means repeating words (choo choo) or ending words with an "ee" sound (doggie). This gives baby extra chances to hear the sounds. Try saying "dog" out loud. Now say "doggie." Isn't it much easier to hear the "g"? Even very young children talk to babies in high-pitched voices and use Motherese. Researchers have found that people all over the world speak to babies this way.
Whatever you say to your baby, speak clearly so baby can hear each word. And remember to have fun.