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Is exposing a child to multiple languages harmful?

Q: I have a two months old son. While playing with him I use Hindi, which is my mother tongue and also sometimes English. My wife uses Hindi, English and her mother tongue Kannada too. I live with my in-laws who also use Kannada while playing with the kid. They say using many languages will slower his language development and communication skills. It will confuse him. They say we must use only one language whereas my friends suggest that exposing child to multiple languages will help enrich his vocabulary and brain capacity. Is this true?

A:Please continue to play with the baby boy naturally. It is most normal for us to use the mother tongue in talking to the infant. The infant responds to the tone of your words and to your gestures and body language. Affection is the best language to use! Even when he starts to speak, there will be no problem in his being exposed to two or three languages. As someone told you it will increase brain capacity. But do not force the child to speak three languages at 18 months! Whatever the child does spontaneously is OK.


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