Talk, Sing, and Point
Babies learn language from the moment they are born. Respond to their sounds, and later, their words. Connect with eye contact and a loving tone of voice, while pointing to help them know what you are talking about.
With Your Infant (0-12 months)
- Talk a lot. Talk to your baby from the time they are born during activities like changing, feeding, bathing, and errands. Describe what you are doing.
- Use a playful voice. Smile and look into your baby’s eyes. Exaggerate the sounds of words.
- Go back and forth. When your baby makes a sound, show excitement on your face and in your voice. Respond with words. See how long you can keep the “conversation” going back and forth between the two of you.
- Point to objects. Point to objects and name them—especially the things that seem to interest your baby.
With Your Toddler (12-36 months)
- Describe life. Talk about the everyday things you see and do together. Most things are new and interesting to a toddler!
- Use your hands. Point to the objects you talk about. Encourage your child to point to objects that you name.
- Expand on what your child says. For example, if they point to a dog and say, “Doggie,” you can reply, “Yes, that is a doggie. It’s brown and soft.”
- Sing. Sing songs and recite nursery rhymes from your childhood, from books, or make up new ones. Your toddler may especially enjoy the ones with rhyming sounds or hand motions. Try singing the same song whenever it’s time for a special activity like bath time.
- Use any language. Speak in whatever language you are most comfortable. All languages help children’s development. It’s great if your child grows up speaking more than one language!
More tips and resources
- Download the full Talk, Sing, and Point tip sheet.