B is an earlier developing sound. Typically, children master B by 3 years of age.
To learn how to make the B sound we must know what each articulator (lips, tongue, teeth, breath, and voice) does.
Lips: Lips do all the work here! They must be slightly pressed together (enough not to let air escape but not too much where it feels unnatural)
Tongue: Nothing! It is relaxed in a neutral position
Teeth: Nothing! They are relaxed in a resting position
Breath: B is a plosive sound which means our breath bursts out of our mouth upon sound production
Voice: B is a voiced sound so our voice box is turned on
Please say B in front of a mirror and look and feel what all your muscles are doing. Once you have a good handle on how to say B, you can now better teach your child.
Speech therapists use a variety of cues during therapy including tactile (touch), verbal (words), and visual (visual models/mirrors) to elicit a correct sound production. Below are the most useful cues for B.
1. Get out a mirror and have your child put their lips together
2. Model what a correct B looks like and have your child copy
For visual cues to work, make sure your child is looking at you. I bring objects near to or point to my mouth to bring a child's attention to my mouth.
1. Say “lips together”
2. Say “hide your teeth”
3. Say “make a kissing face”
4. Say “close lips”
1. Lightly press your child’s lips together
2. Have your child put their finger in front of their mouth as if he or she is saying “sh” (but don’t round lips) and then explode with a B sound to make your finger “pop.”