Language is passed on through families. As our expert explains, words reflect you and your baby’s personal histories: “In speaking, the child is making the world his own and conquering new territory. With language, he’s making sense of his environment and giving it meaning, especially his parents.” He is sensitive to your exchanges and will absorb not only the first stories that you tell him, but also dialogue between friends and family around him. Words are not merely sounds to him, as vocabulary differs from one family to the next, the way we communicate speaks volumes about our history and reflects the cultural environment that the baby is absorbing. Up until school age, he will use the same words that you do, making your role in his language acquisition key.