From 6 to 8 months oldyour baby understands something that will change their life – when they make sounds, their parents respond. Never mind if the full meaning is a little vague – your baby becomes a professional babbler. The main thing is they understand the principle of interaction. Identifying words, and their meaning falls gradually into place in your baby’s developing brain.
At about 12 months old your baby begins to express their ideas and is well on their way to a deeper form of communicating. It is at this age that your baby says “mumma” and “dadda” for the first time. To inspire your baby, speak to them from the outset while experiencing different situations and coming in contact with different objects. Your baby remembers everything and their vocabulary repertoire will eventually explode.
Help build your baby’s language skills
Don’t expect to hear any real words from your baby until after ten months old. Most baby talk will be one-syllable sounds such as “moo,” “maa,” and “baa.” There are a few things you can do to help your baby develop language skills:
* Talk about what’s going on. If you’re putting your baby’s socks on them, talk about that. If you’re holding up a rattle, chat about the rattle. Then shake the rattle and talk about the noise;
* Use short sentences and simple words. At first your baby can only process simple information. Much like if you were to learn a new foreign language – small words and simple tasks are a good starting point;
* Use nouns consistently to identify things. For instance, ask, “Where is your book?” rather than, “Where is it?” Refer to your baby by name. They’re still too young to grasp the concept of pronouns like “you,” “me,” “yours,” and so on. Instead say, “Jennifer did a good job”;
* Talk about objects your baby can see rather than things they have to recall. Seeing the object and hearing the word at the same time will help your baby make a stronger connection;
* Faces and people will be especially intriguing at this time in your baby’s life. Picture books can be great conversation starters;
* Talk in a happy-sounding voice. That’s pretty easy actually, you may notice many adults almost automatically adopt a sing-song voice whenever they are face-to-face with a baby or toddler;
* Emphasise happy facial expressions and gestures as you speak. You may feel silly, but this will help your baby understand you better. This way your baby will begin to identify talking as something pleasant.
What motivates your baby to pronounce their first word?
Language development milestones depend on your baby’s genetic abilities and the environment in which they are exposed to.
The main stages of language development in your baby
Barely out of the womb andyour baby may already have a very loud voice, as anyone would agree that hears them cry. Your baby’s first sounds are shared by babies worldwide – vowels a e i o u. Your baby has already begun using the mother tongue. This is why it is important to speak clearly to your baby from birth.
From 3 months your baby discovers the pleasure of sounds and babbling. This is natural as their brain needs to organise the areas controlling verbal comprehension and those controlling language. Sounds therefore often come with baby’s first mimics.
Your baby starts to communicate with a cry of joy and a big smile, a tentative ‘neh’ sound and unreadable expression, contented guttural noises after a bottle and fidgeting when something needs to change. No need to worry, you will gradually learn to decipher your baby’s body language, babbling and cries.
developing years helps your baby develop mental and emotional strength and resilience and will most likely help them deal with the varied and challenging situations throughout their life.
you. They love this relationship – full of smiles, cuddles and pleasant facial expressions.
Enjoy being a playmate to your baby.Playing with your baby, talking to them about things in their surroundings and reading from simple picture and story books helps cultivate mental growth and intelligence. Keep their environment safe and let them freely explore and discover.
Brothers and sisters play an important role in your baby’s development – showing immense pleasure and delight in their company.
Between 6 weeks and 6 months old your baby starts to smile at different people. Everything changes after seven months with the well-known stage of separation anxiety. Your baby, who once smiled at everyone, suddenly starts to cry when they see an unfamiliar face. This could even happen with granny and granddad who may have travelled a distance to see their grandson or granddaughter or even dad if he is not home much in their waking hours or works away for weeks at a time. It’s important to support your baby and make them feel comfortable and as they grow they will soon move past this phase; you can’t take it personally, as much as it disappoints.
By the time your baby knows how to walk, their world opens up as if by magic. They now know how to communicate, make themselves understood and take every opportunity to make friends with children their own size. However, your baby may not yet be ready to share toys or give up their turn on the swing. Be patient, your baby will learn the rules of sharing as they get older. Having contact with others will help your baby construct their individual personality. At playgroup or day care or in the park – they will love watching children their own age but also older children. Your baby will begin to imitate behaviours both negative and positive – choosing who they spend time with is very important.
Grandparents play an important role in your baby’s development They can teach your baby how to live life at a different pace and have a different outlook on the values of the world.
My baby is shy – should I be concerned?
If your baby is afraid of unfamiliar faces, cries when you leave them, refuses to say hello and goodbye – don’t worry. This phase is usually only temporary and can often be connected to your baby’s nature. When you learn and understand how to manage your baby’s emotions, life will become much less stressful for the both of you. Encourage your baby to go towards others while you are nearby and enrol them in an activity group that you attend together – they’ll learn and watch how to make friends. If your baby genuinely appears to be uninterested in others, withdrawn and has little eye contact – discuss this with your doctor or child health professional. If your child is often aggressive towards other children, and this attitude lasts a few weeks, they could be feeling insecure or overtired. Discussing this behaviour with a child health expert may help you better understand their behaviour and how to handle it.
Your baby first discovers the world through their family
For most babies, their world for the first 6 months or so revolves around just a few significant people – mostly
Your baby loves yabbering on the phone. With a high voice, mimicking sounds and unique intonations make you laugh but it probably reminds you of someone - you. Imitating significant others is the first step to your baby developing social skills. How to be social and form relationships is something we learn throughout our whole life. Your baby learns the rules little by little while in contact with close family circle then as time goes by they will refine their ability to respond to others - first through giggles and bonding, then squabbling and rivalry. It is through such experiences that your developing baby will learn how to live in society.
Understanding the language of your baby’s affection
To begin with, the signs your baby shows to express affection toward you may be difficult to identify. It may just feel all they want is food or a bath or a clean nappy! However while it may look more like an inclination or liking towards you rather than a show of love – they are very genuine in their responses and are very sensitive to your responses in return. Around 6 weeks of age, you will get your first smile and all the wait has been worth it. Your baby is finally ready to display their first conscious grin at faces that have become familiar to them.
By 4 months your baby will start to imitate you. They may try to mimic your moves and expressions, a reflex that becomes more intentional as they learn that you respond and enjoy it. The more animated you get the more your baby is going to copy you.
By 7 months your baby may raise their arms to be held, and you will jump to it. Once they have the motor skills to grab for their favourite toy, they are going to start grabbing for you too. This is definitely a positive sign of baby development and a reason to be happy. Your baby may start to cry when you separate from them, but this is very normal and an important part of their mental and emotional development. Even if for a short while, this separation anxiety shows that they prefer you over others.
By 8 months your baby may start to imitate your words and by about 12 months say their first words and you may even get a “mama.” The combination of such easy-to-make sounds and a desire to name what’s important to them is often among the earliest words that your baby speaks. Most commonly, the first words sound like “mama” – but don’t worry if “dada” comes first – they’re most likely just sounds at this point in time with little meaning.
By 12 months your baby loves giving kisses. Around their first birthday, your baby finally has the motor and communication skills to respond to your kisses. They may forget to close their mouth after bringing it close to your cheeks but keep encouraging those sloppy beginnings – they will get better.
Emotional developmentis a very sensitive stage of baby development. It may even contribute to what kind of a person your baby grows up to be – compassionate or indifferent, trusting or apprehensive, optimistic or pessimistic, hopeful or resentful. It is important that you have a kind and loving attitude towards your baby. Providing love and building trust is crucial for your baby to develop a sense of belonging. Such feelings build a strong foundation and can help reduce stress levels in your baby. Establishing love and trust in the early
Your baby is discovering their emotions from birth. Their senses develop and they form emotional bonds which will be influential factors in their ongoing development. Providing your baby with love and care in the early years will help them become more confident and helps with their learning and development. Your baby is more likely to learn how to be close to others through the strong bond you have with your baby.
Some of the proudest moments of being a parent is when your baby achieves certain developmental milestones – like walking, talking, eating and even their first smile. One thing this does however signify is that they will not be your little baby for much longer. So while you read on to see what your little one is up to, enjoy these milestones as they arise.