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And what was the mother doing, who was at home the last weeks before giving birth and had access to a computer and the Internet? Of course, she was browsing forums for future and young mothers (because, according to some, you can now find a prescription for everything on the Internet, just type in the topic you are interested in and within a second we have thousands of different answers. Sure, it's easier than registering with a specialist and going to visit , only the effects of online tips can be unfortunately sad for us.)
In the meantime, you have probably had many meetings with friends who already have their toddlers and willingly gave you tiny clothes from which their children have already grown up, but also willingly shared golden tips on how to deal with a child, because they already know, because they already they did something there. You probably still went to classes at the birthing school, where the midwife was supposed to prepare you for childbirth, but you had the impression that you are not ready for it anyway. In your head you had a lot of questions and doubts - e.g. what's going on with diaphragm breathing, how it will be with anesthesia, etc. ... In a hurry you packed the bag to the hospital, and when it came to what it was, my mother was coming home in a bathrobe because from all this she did not take clothes for herself. And one more thing, every week on the weekend you were visited by personal parents with even more golden, wonderful advice how this child needs to be fed, changed, what to do and what absolutely not. They pierced friends and acquaintances. Well, because they are the parents of five adults who have grown up to be people. Nothing more nothing less.
How does all this relate to reality, to your life together?
Did any of these people mention any specialist, e.g. a speech therapist?
With a head full of advice, wisdom of friends, your questions, doubts, but also plans and dreams, you look at your beautiful, healthy newborn child and you wonder "what now? How it will be? How can you make your child healthy, smart and happy? Where to start?
Although I am a speech therapist, I am not able to answer all your questions. Rather no one is. However, I would like to suggest what you can do with the baby from the very beginning, so that his speech develops properly. Remember, parents, that the child's speech does not begin to develop until the toddler first says "ma-ma-ma". Before a child starts babbling: "ma-ma-ma" or "ta-ta-ta", which makes all parents cry, many difficult and complicated processes must occur that take place much earlier than in the fifth or sixth month of the child's life because already when the baby is still in his mother's stomach!
It all starts in the stomach ...
In the prenatal period, all speech transmitting and receiving organs are shaped and developed! Already about 20 days after fertilization, the beginning of the brain is visible, which is the most important, basic receiving and transmitting organ of speech! That's why dear moms, it is worth taking care of yourself and the proper pregnancy (get enough sleep, rest, play sports, walk, avoid stressful situations, eat well - eat for two, not for two!), consult specialists, do recommended tests and do not read too many guides with good advice from women who they are mothers, not specialists (e.g. psychologists or speech therapists), because it has a huge impact on the further development of the child, not only in terms of the development of his speech.
Breastfeeding - an important thing!
The first very important exercise, which naturally improves the tongue, lips, palate and jaw, that is really our articulation organs extremely important in the process of speaking, is breastfeeding. I appeal to all mothers - if you have a choice between natural and artificial feeding, choose the first one. If for some reason you can't feed your baby naturally - here ATTENTION! - contact a speech therapist who will show you what feeding equipment (teats, bottles) to choose. The speech therapist will also explain why it is so important to use a good teat, and also assess whether the child is sucking properly.
Dear Mom, it is also important that your child does not get involved with the bottle up to the age of 3, because it does not have a positive effect on speech development, but also on teeth! Unfortunately, three-year-olds and older children with bottles are not uncommon.
The child can use the bottle (as he must necessarily have it) up to 18 months. The truth is that if you breastfeed your mother, you are able to bypass the introduction of a teat bottle. A bottle with a dragon is not needed by the child at all!
An important moment is definitely the introduction of a teaspoon of about 4-6 months, but not a bottle! After learning how to remove food from a spoon for about 8 - 9 months, it is time to learn how to drink from an open cup - no cups with a spout, no non-spills (!) - in toddler accessories stores you can find various colorful, cheerful non-spills that tempt you parents, but they are not conducive to the proper development of speech. Children should drink from regular, open cups. Babies who are able to drink from open cups without problems can only now begin the adventure of drinking from straws. Never the other way round - first open cup, then straw.
The topic of feeding is extremely important in the context of baby's speech development, because the same muscles that are responsible for food are also responsible for talking, i.e. speaking and eating, we use the same muscles! Someone even once said, "show me how to eat, and I'll tell you how to say." And that's the truth! Children who eat well speak well.
If your baby has no sucking problems - do not give your baby a pacifier soother, because there is no need! Try to teach your toddler to calm down, calm down in a different way (e.g. by singing, gently rocking or massaging him), and not to block his face with a stopper - a teat!
What about your thumb?
Watch if your kid puts his thumb in his mouth and sucks it? It is worth looking at when it does, why. Maybe he is bored? Maybe she is tired? Maybe his sister was born? Maybe mom left? If your toddler is more than 12 months old and is still sucking his thumb, try to put it out. It is also worth consulting with a specialist (speech therapist, psychologist or orthodontist) who will look at the child and explain why the toddler sucks his thumb and tells what can be done to make the child stop doing it.
Cushion under the head
For the correct development of the lower jaw, but also for the correct way of breathing, i.e. nasal breathing, it is important for the child did not sleep on a completely flat mattress both in the cot and in the stroller! The toddler's head should be a little higher than the entire torso and tilted a little to the chest, which promotes closing the mouth and breathing through the nose.
Parents, watch if your child has its mouth open or closed. If the child does not eat, drink, speak, sleep, play with his face should be closed! The cause of an open mouth may be e.g. reduced muscle tone, an enlarged third almond, or allergies. Contrary to what you can read, Parents on various forums - an open face in a toddler always requires consultation, because it's better to check with a specialist (e.g. speech therapist, otolaryngologist, physiotherapist) than later treat the child forever for recurrent respiratory tract inflammation. An ever-open mouth is at some point habitual breathing through the mouth, not through the nose, and thus, the child swallows cold, poorly filtered air and a cold is ready!
What else can you do to properly influence your child's speech development?
For sure encourage, motivate, inspire the child to speak! Show that speech is used to communicate, but also has many other functions, e.g. serves to satisfy desires and needs - only a screaming or crying child is difficult for us to understand, communication with him is difficult, and thus his desires and needs are not always met. Otherwise, when the child says directly: "I want a bread with honey" or "I am tired, I want to sleep." The toddler is then understood by us and we can fulfill his desires.
A child, thanks to his speaking skills also to attract the attention of the surroundings, children like to be in the center of attention, often show off speaking, ask a lot of questions, tell, talk, but also try to shine, please, for example, colleagues, by saying ugly words. And what follows - children who can speak develop socially, make friends, look for and make friends, belong to different peer groups.
The parents' task is showing the enormous possibilities offered by speech. Failure to show the finger for three years (the gesture of pointing the finger is very important and desirable, but in small children - should appear about 9-10 months of life of the child), not tormenting the child in answering and being responsible for him, just encouraging, provoking to speak. I watch moms who, for example, ask: "Anna, do you want a banana or an apple?" She decided for a child. I also meet moms that are ahead of children's thoughts and desires and these babies have everything under their nose. I don't have to ask anything, don't even have to show my finger, they don't have to make any sound. It happens that these children are covered by speech therapy because of delayed speech development. Parents, why are children supposed to say, why are they strained, if everything is assured, put under the nose? They have no motivation to speak!
Talk, talk, talk and talk again but also within reason - pause between speaking, give your child a chance to also say something. I highly recommend the method I use myself - flooding children with speech, or word bath method; give your children a word at every turn, at any time, when you change your diaper on a changing table, when you start cooking dinner - "see this is a pot. This is a big green pot. What is this? Break and waiting for the child's reaction. Yes, that's great, it's a pot. And this is green cucumber. The cucumber is long. And this is an orange carrot, etc. ", or when you are going by bus - discuss, comment on the situations in which you find yourself;
Good luck in stimulating your kids' speech! All the best!
To be continued… :)
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