Here’s extract number 7 from How To Help Your Child Talk and Grow Smarter: your chance to learn more about the way your child learns to talk.

This extract sums up the information from the Attention Skills section of the book, with a checklist of the very simple things you can do to build attention skills in your baby and toddler. Why not print them out and put them on your fridge door, so it’s easy to keep them in mind.

If you’re a new reader, CLICK HERE to read How To Help Your Child Talk and Grow Smarter from the very beginning.This link takes you to the first post, so you can read the extracts in sequence. At the end of each week’s post you’ll see a link to take you on to the next extract. I try to post every Friday, by noon GMT.

Attention skills: checklist for babies

• Make eye contact.

• Speak gently.

• Notice which sense your baby is using.

• Play peep-bo and sing nursery rhymes.

• Limit the number of toys around him.

• Let him sleep and be quiet.

Attention skills: checklist for toddlers

• Alternate quiet times with activity.

• Limit TV and encourage his own activities.

• Watch for overstimulation and let him relax quietly.

• Call his name and wait for him to look at you.

• Get down to his level so he can see you.

• Keep calm when he gets frustrated.

• Consider signing with him.

• Tell bedtime stories.

• Sing nursery rhymes.

Come back next week for another extract, all about your baby’s listening skills: why they matter and how you can help him learn to listen. A link will appear HERE.

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