From the very start, your baby is learning how to communicate with you.
 
At around six to eight months, your little one starts to babble like there’s no tomorrow, and not after long, may even imitate the sounds he or she hears when you speak.
 
Every baby has their first word at different stages, but it’s a magical moment for every parent.
 
Here are a few way you can gently encourage your baby to talk.
 
Q&A: Ask lots of questions, then follow up with an answer - for example “Are we hungry? Yes, I think it’s definitely dinnertime!” You may feel as if you're talking to yourself, but you're also modelling the give-and-take of conversation which can be very helpful for baby’s understanding of language.
 
Moments of silence: While keeping up a steady stream of speech helps your baby build up on vocabulary, he or she also needs time to try talking. When you starts talking to your little one, pause, look at their face, and really listen as they tries to master an "mmm" or an "ahhh." Your baby will be delighted that you're paying such close attention.
 
Play-by-play: Tell your baby what you (and they) are doing, step by step, adding lots of expression and fun dramatic gestures. Your little one may not know what you’re saying , but it won't be long before they do.
 
Story time: Books are a brilliant source of new words for a baby. Try nursery rhymes, picture books and anything that will engage your baby. You can make up voices for different characters or even make up some bedtime stories for your little one. Perhaps you have a favourite childhood story you can pass onto your baby.
 
Singing: You don’t have to on the X Factor to be able to sing to your little one. Don’t worry if you’re not hitting all the right notes. The rhymes and melodies in the songs will really help with your baby’s language learning skills, and is just plain fun too.

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