Prep: None / Activity Time: Frequent 2-3 second intervals

Researchers agree that the foundation for language development begins with the amount and quality of speech input infants receive from their parents and caregivers beginning at birth. Infant-directed speech is one communication situation that nurtures later language development. As adults, we speak differently to infants than we do to older children. Some of the features of infant-directed speech include higher pitch, slower rate, and exaggerated intonation. By talking to your infant using these speech features and creating opportunities for social interaction, your infant will be well on his way to developing language.

Step 1; When your infant is awake, talk to him frequently using a higher-pitch voice and an exaggerated intonation. In addition, be sure to talk slowly and clearly. Your infant will enjoy hearing your voice, which is very soothing to him.

Step 2: When you talk to your infant using these infant-directed speech features, he will begin to respond to your voice. For example, when he is fussy or crying, your calm, slow speech will help sooth him. Your high-pitch voice and exaggerated intonation will often result in a smile or giggle from him!

Step 3: Your infant is listening to you talk and attempting to sort or map out all of the sounds you are saying. So, the more you talk, the more you are nurturing language development!