Polly Parrot

Duration: any

Age: baby, toddler, parent

Skill for Bub: Mind Builder


Let Baby flex his newfound verbal skills with this fun activity!

It’s hard to know how to respond to baby babble. It’s the most pleasing sound, but most of us can’t match it! The good news is that there’s no pressure. When confronted with baby babble, the rule is simply to babble back. We’re talking about having fun, not encouraging development. Chances are you speak clearly and accurately enough to Baby over the course of the day that 15 minutes of babbling back is harmless fun. Of course, if after a few days of this activity you find yourself answering your husband with incoherent phrases, you might want to stop!

  • Find a time when Baby is in a happy mood, such as after naptime or mealtime.

  • Encourage Baby to babble by articulating consonant sounds, such as “ba ba” or “da da,” and vowel sounds, such as “ah ah” or “oh oh.”

  • When Baby imitates you or creates his own sounds, such as “mm ma” or “gurgle coo,” simply say “mm ma” and “gurgle coo” right back.

  • If Baby makes eye contact, hold that connection and smile!

  • If Baby engages you in a babble conversation, act like it’s the most natural thing in the world to babble right back. This teaches him the rhythm of conversation.

  • Videotape this babble conversation and play it back to Baby. Watch his face light up when he sees it! Don’t forget to share the tape with Dad or grandparents, too.

See Conversational Coos and Hear That? for more language-building fun.