Want your baby to have a big vocabulary?… Don’t miss out on teaching them this!

I know what it’s like to be in a Mom group. I love it…. and then… confession… sometimes I don’t!

I love hanging with other Moms, lunching while our babies hang out reaching for each other’s hair and eyes, dishing on the latest in-law gossip, giving live reviews of recent baby gear, and sharing any new baby friendly recipes to get that picky eater interested in something.

And then… I hate it. Not actually hate it.  But sometimes you leave Mom group, and you think “Ugh! Susie is already crawling?!?!” or “Jack already says Mama?!?!

Have you been there? We can’t help but compare our babes to others. But, as they say… all children develop at their own pace.

There’s no such thing as “normal.” Normal is a setting on a dishwasher. Our children are all so unique in their each way, developing a bit differently, at different times. That’s the reality.

However… we all want our kiddos to excel in any way, right?!? Well, this week I bring you a research proven tip that has been shown to predict vocabulary size.

It’s pointing.

Yup, the index finger point.

Studies show that a child’s use of gesture and pointing at 14 months is the best predictor of later vocabulary size. The study looked at how often a parent pointing during playtime, and how quickly children were able to learn new words. It also found that using other gestures (for instance flapping your arms when you see a bird), helped children learn words faster too!

So… How do you get your child to point? Model the behavior! Point to pictures in books, specific parts on toys (for example, the wheel of a car), or use bubbles during play or bath-time. Don’t be shy about acting things out (charades with baby can really make the time go by).

If by 15 months, your child has not begun pointing, consult with your pediatrician to address other issues related to language or communication delays.

Next Mom’s group, share this word-tip with your crew. Be confident that your baby is getting a boat load of stimulation, and try… just try… to remember that good things come to those who wait.

(I often have to give my impatient self this exact pep talk).


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