How to encourage your baby to coo ?
Cooing is typically a vowel sound, like ahh, but sometimes cooing can sound like gurgling noises. It’s absolutely adorable, but it’s also really important: It signifies baby is starting to work on language development.
When Do Babies Start Cooing?
Babies typically begin to coo around six to eight weeks of age. But cooing, like all milestones, can vary from baby to baby. If your little one isn’t cooing right at six weeks, don’t worry. All babies develop on their own schedule.
How to Encourage Babies to Start Cooing
- Start by placing the child in a comfortable position. Very young infants often like lying on their backs or being held in your lap, looking up at you.
- Talk to the infant while gently tickling his tummy or neck. Sometimes, touching the infant’s mouth with light pats will get him to make sounds
- Anytime the infant makes a sound, imitate what she says. At first, the sound you repeat should match or be about the same as the sound she makes. It is best to wait until the child is finished “talking” before imitating her sounds
- Every once in a while, vary the sounds you use to imitate or repeat what the infant has said. If he says “ah,” you might say “ah goo.” Adding variation to the infant’s sounds is likely to capture her interest
- Be sure to show the infant that the sound play is fun. Smile, laugh, and show that you are excited. If you are enjoying the game, he will likely show the same enjoyment.
Once you hear those first few coos, it’s infectious, and you’ll want to hear more and more. Following these simple steps will most likely get the infant to coo and develop those language skills.
Talk to your baby -
Talking in “baby talk”—to your baby is essential for language development. In fact, speaking in high-pitched tones (called “motherese”) to your baby helps them learn to coo, because those high-pitches and sing-song sounds highlight vowel sounds like ahhh and ohhh. Experts say that responding to your baby’s sounds provides encouragement and helps her learn new sounds and sound patterns.
Narrate your actions –
Act out the simple tasks you do. Remember that babies understand words long before they can ever utter one word. Speaking clearly not only helps babies to learn words, but also makes them aware of the essential sound combinations. You may set up a routine where you act out some of your tasks and narrate them in baby-talk for your baby. Do these activities with enthusiasm and excitement to capture your baby’s attention. For eg:
“Mommy is pouring milk in the cup” or “this ball is big”, use your hands to show that the ball is big – this helps adding meaning to words and with repetition babies will attempt to coo at first and then try to speak those words.
Repeat sound back to your baby –
Whether your baby coos with ahhh sounds or ohhhh sounds, repeat those sounds back to your baby. Make eye contact to help your baby focus on you. Repeating the same sound over and over helps your baby learn to vocalize that sound. Interestingly, this is the same principle that explains why babies and toddlers have an easier time remembering words that repeat e.g. night night or choo choo.