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How to: Teach your Toddler the M Sound.

The sounds /h/ and /a/ are the first two sounds your child should be able to make! The next set of sounds typically includes: m, p, and b. This blog will discuss different ways to get your kiddos making “m.”

In the previous blog, we talked about VOICED AND VOICELESS sounds. Remember, when we release or exhale air, our bodies allow carbon dioxide to escape our open mouths, producing the amazing VOICELESS sound “h!” And it’s paired VOICED sound “ahh” happens when we let the air out of our open mouth to make “h” and turn on our voice.

“M” is in so many different words that we might hear our kiddos making for the first time like momma, more, mine, me, mmm and so many others. Producing the sound “m” is saying “ahh” (or any vowel sound oh, eh, ae, ee, ay, eye) with an open mouth, closing your jaw and lips, and maintaining that voiced sound, try it out.

Some common difficulties can include an inability to close the jaw or an inability to close the lips. With either of these issues, you want to see how you can get your child to close both their mouth and their lips. One common association with “m” is really delicious food. Collect a spoon, a dum dum, a preferred choice of food (food your kiddo really likes) and get ready to practice.

Time to Practice

1. Practice producing “ahh” then closing your mouth to keep the voicing “mmmmm.” Try this 5-10 times, check to see if your kiddos jaw is closed and lips are closed, and see if you can make “mm” without saying “ahh” first.
2. Using a dum dum or a spoon, get your child to close their jaw and lips and turn their voice on, try saying “mmm” as if that dum dum tastes really good!
3. If your child is having difficulty closing their lips and jaw, something else you could try is patting the back of their hand on their mouth to help them begin to produce m. It’s not the needed jaw and lip positioning but an okay start to producing m. If this is successful, you would eventually want to see your child begin to transition using a closed jaw and closed lip production.

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We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

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