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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

Listen

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