I'm not an expert on linguistics and I hope I'm not doing more damage than good by introducing all 3 languages at once (Spanish, Croatian and English) but I have heard that babies are like sponges, they will absorb everything.
I did some research about multilingualism and I found a fascinating website, Spanglishbaby ,"the place to ask and get personal advice and honest answers to all those conflicting opinions out there about raising bilingual kids." Here I found a link to Simona Montanari , an expert on early multilingual development, and this is what she had to say about teaching your child more than one language " ...decades of research have shown that children’s brains have all the capacities necessary to cope with and fully master two or more languages if they are given the opportunity to hear and practice these languages on an everyday basis. The idea of confusion in bilingual children is really a myth, an old belief prevalent in monolingual countries that has almost become political."
So hey maybe I'm doing something right? With the exception of my Spanglish!
We are just combining all 3 languages in hopes that as she gets older she will know the difference. For now we are using words that are easier for her to pronounce, for example Elephant is too long, instead we say slon. Of course as she gets older I will speak to her only in Spanish, my Hubby in Croatian and she will have exposure to English in school.
Just to give you an idea of my daily conversations with Beli (22 months old), it goes something like this:
Me: Good Morning Beli.
Beli: Goo-Moneen Mama.
Me: Dile good morning a Daddy.....(tell Daddy good morning)
Me: Como durmio my muneca?....(how did my doll sleep?)
Beli: Mama dai ruka!...............(Mama give me your hand!)
Me: Dojee Beli wait for Mama.....(Come here Beli, wait for Mama)
Me:Dame los shoes.....................(Give me the shoes)
Beli: Dai shoes Mama.................(Give you the shoes Mama)
Me: Quieres pintar en el book?.........(Do you want to color on the book?)
Beli: Book? dai colors Mama! ...........(Book?, give colors Mama!)
Me: Mira!..mali pas..............................(Look, a small dog)
She really amazes me because when I ask her in Spanish to tell me the body parts she answers in Croatian! I think it's because Spanish is the minority language and Croatian the majority( at least for now that we are living here). I'm not too worried about teaching her English, although she does get the exposure from hearing Hubby and I speak. How about you, do you mix languages at home or use one of these methods OPOL, T &P or mL&H?