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Infants » Discipline and Guidance

Development in Infancy

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How to Talk to Infants

Use positive reinforcing words and gestures

            Don’t SHAME a child!
            “Good for you” – “hm-m” – sound pleasant
            Avoid nagging, criticizing, threatening

Eye contact

Vary tone and inflection – whispering is out, clarity is in, speak up, natural tone


Call child by name for emphasis not redundancy

Get down to their level

Repeat for clarification, repeat all sounds

Talk a lot – give information, describe

Avoid questioning as a way of talking

Use questions only when you are able to abide by the child’s response

Use short declarative statements

Give advance notice: Say what you are going to do, then do it, then say what you did do (restate)

Use games to communicate: rhyming words, songs, games

Combine words with actions

Avoid baby talk

Extend language: make words and sentences out of sound phrases child makes

Ask Dr. Susan