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Teach Your Baby to Talk

August 30th, 2018 | By: Sydney Loney
Your guide to communicating with your baby from day one

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Teach Your Baby to Talk

You probably can't wait to have a real conversation with your baby, but you'd be amazed at how much you can say to one another long before she says her first word. Whether you're chatting verbally or trying your hand (literally) at baby sign language, here's how to open the lines of communication with your infant.

When babies learn language

A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical School found infants learn language earlier than previously thought–babies just seven months old may be aware of how sentences are organized and can pick specific words out of fluent speech well before they can talk.

Infants show they're able to understand language early on by responding to directions, understanding words or pointing to family members, says Sara Bingham, author of The Baby Signing Book. And while motor skills needed for speech develop between 12 and 18 months, those needed for signing develop between six and 12 months. "Because babies gesture before they can talk, they can learn to sign before they can speak verbally," Bingham says.