Newborn babies copy many movements of yours. If you open your mouth or stick out your tongue, you can see your baby imitating it.He also recognises your voice and turns to the sound of your voice. So right from birth, baby listens to you and learns from you. So start talking to your baby right from birth. Talking helps you and your baby to get to know each other and establishes a strong bond between you. Your baby sometimes moves his mouth as if he is in a mood to talk. Play along and start a conversation with him. You can start with something like 'What do you want to tell me, sugar?' and carry on both ends of the conversation.
A few weeks later, your baby starts making cooing sounds. You can then converse with him by copying his sounds. When baby starts babbling with sounds like ba,ba or da,da, repeat them one or two times. Baby will catch on immediately and start mimicking you with a conscious effort.
Make time to talk to your baby during bath time,feeding time and while you change his diaper. Talk throughout until completion of your task telling him about what you are doing to him. Babies under one year of age listen to the rhythm of your conversation, and above this age, they become sensitive to words. When you talk, leave time for baby's response so that he gets to learn the give and take and the accent and modulation of voice, during a conversation.
When your baby is above one year old, repeat a word multiple times. Once he hears a word repeatedly, he is able to say that word very soon. For e.g when you give him water to drink, you can ask, "Do you want water?", and continue, "Here, mummy is bringing water", "Take, drink the water". When the word is thus repeated along with the presentation of the object, baby learns the word quickly. Similarly when you play with him rolling a ball back and forth, you can say something like, "Here, the ball is coming to you", "Roll the ball back dear", and "Oh, mummy has caught the ball". Repetition of the word 'ball' along with the presentation of the object produces the desired effect. When you are thus introducing new words to him,take care to grasp his attention towards the object.
During playtime, you can talk about the working of your baby's newly arrived electronic toys, and add play sounds to the toy when it starts moving, to create fun. During feeding time, talk about the variety of foods you are feeding him with, ask him , "How does the food taste?", "Do you like this green?", "How about this egg?" and so on.
During bath time, point to body parts and name them. You can engage in conversation with your baby even while you are cooking. Give him some toys to play with and intermittently direct his attention towards you telling him about what you are preparing stressing on the name of food items. When you go out shopping, talk about things you see on your way and in shops, particularly about those your baby is interested in. If you keep talking constantly throughout the day, he will be exposed to hundreds of words everyday.
Once your baby has learnt quite a number of single words introduce him to two-word or three-word phrases. This you can do by tagging on words with those your baby has already learnt. For e.g if your baby has learnt two words like 'apple' and 'more' you can make him say both words together 'More apple' when he likes to express that he wants more apples. Providing suitable contexts you can add on two-word, three-word phrases to his vocabulary.You can sing rhymes to add more words and phrases to his repertoire.
Once your toddler starts long phrases and a few short sentences, give time for him to chat, with you listening to it.This will develop his language skills. Listen carefully and patiently and correct him if he makes any mistakes in composition of words or in pronunciation. Stimulating your baby to language learning is a nice experience and it is quite simple too.