Talking with babies and toddlers is a brain building activity! Every time you talk to a baby and have a high-quality back-and-forth interaction, new connections in that baby’s brain are made. The more you engage with babies and toddlers in this way, the more they learn to understand and use new words and concepts. Below are some tips for talking with babies and toddlers and engaging in high-quality back-and-forth interactions.

Move to the child’s level and make eye contact.

Mirror the child’s tone.

For example, if the child is smiling and happy, use a happy, upbeat tone of voice.

Use Parent-ese!

Parent-ese is a type of adult speech where an adult talks to a child in an exaggerated, animated, and repetitive way. Babies and toddlers get excited when they are spoken to in fun and interesting ways. Parent-ese captures babies’ attention and can help them learn.


Comment about everything in the baby’s environment, such as their actions and other people’s actions, objects, toys, foods, activities, and daily events. Narrate your routines!


Babies and toddlers are learning to match words with different things in their world. Labeling at every opportunity helps babies and toddlers learn new words and understand their meaning. Point and look at objects when describing them for babies/toddlers. Make sure the baby/toddler looks at who or what you are pointing to.

View Source