Things I did to work on speech development... from day 1!
Becoming a mom after being a pediatric speech-language pathologist for 6 years was a huge change! While I do not and will not pretend to know it all because…wow, what I have learned I DID NOT know in the last year is immeasurable! (Hello changing little boy diapers and not ending up peed on! ) Even I felt overwhelmed with what I needed to be doing from the beginning and asked myself, “What can I be doing now to help him learn language?!” While every new mom might not ask this question, (and that is okay because sometimes we need to make it to the next nap time), here are some suggestions for those who need a couple of ideas to help bring a little peace to the chaos.
Just talk… about everything.
I talked… a lot… about everything while I was doing it. ‘Mommy is changing your diaper. Let’s wrap you back up in a blanket.’ ‘It’s time to take the doggies out now. Look at them run! They are ready to play!’
I read books..a lot!
I tried to figure out the times when my son was most alert. I would grab several books, put him in the swing, and start reading! That early and frequent exposure helped start us on our routine of daily reading habits. He still loves reading multiple books after waking up before nap and bedtime. As we begin toddlerhood, he might not sit as long for a story, but he frequently initiates story time. Just read whatever you have! I had a mom share with me that she was studying for graduate school and frequently read her textbook to her son. #Momwin
My poor sweet kiddo had to listen to me sing songs to him. Luckily, I also played a variety of music as well. Sharing music and dancing with our son ended up being one of my husband’s favorite times with our son. Studies are showing that early exposure to music, especially when it’s interactive with your child, may help infants understand rhythm in speech and music, can increase their ability to smile more and increase brain responses.
Loved myself and that sweet baby.
Giving yourself grace and just enjoying those cuddles with your baby will create a lifetime bond. Those moments of eye contact and engagement will hopefully lead to a lifetime of conversations, whether it’s through words, an AAC device, gestures, signs or written language! You were picked to be that baby’s momma and are doing a great job!
Source: (2018, January 11). ‘How Playing Music Helps Boost a Baby’s Brain Development’. ConceiveAbilities.