Many of us native English speakers don’t think twice about the language we use with our children – but if your native language is anything other than English, use it! Encourage grandparents, caregivers, or anyone else Baby interacts with on a regular basis to use the language with which they are most fluent. Contrary to some concerns, this does not confuse babies or delay their speech; it simply gives them more words to express themselves when they are ready to talk.
If a caregiver is required to use a second or third language (English) to speak to Baby – even if they are also fluent English speakers - it may minimize the richness of vocabulary that the child may hear. Where someone might use a descriptive word like “minuscule” in their native language, they may be more inclined to use something general like “small” in English. Learning the concept is as important as learning the actual word, and the comparable English expression of the word can always be learned later (or concurrently).
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