Your baby is communicating with you from birth. At first, you will have no idea what is wrong when baby cries. Soon you will come to know the difference between a cry in hunger and a tired cry. As you respond to your baby’s cries and meet her needs, you are teaching her how to communicate. As she grows, your communication will
Throughout the pregnancy, your baby listened to your voice. When babies are born, they are able to recognize the sound of their mother’s voice. Studies have demonstrated that babies will turn in the direction of their mother’s voice over any other. Talk to your baby during the day. While he won’t understand your words, he will be soothed by the sound of your voice. As he grows, he will recognize the sounds, rhythm and pattern of his native language.
Talk to your baby during your typical daily routine. This may feel strange at first, but it will soon come naturally. Say things like, “Let’s go in the bedroom and change your diaper.” Talk while you are feeding and rocking the baby. Explain what you are doing and where you are going. “We are putting on your sweater. We’re going to take a ride in the car. We are going to grandma’s house. Grandma loves you and wants to see you.”
When your baby is around two months old, she will start making cooing sounds. By three months, she will coo at you. Repeat the sounds she makes and she’ll continue the “conversation.” Her coos will soon turn to squeals as she hears the sounds she makes repeated. This game is not only fun, but your baby is learning a lot about conversations and communication.
This babbling will continue for the next several months. By around six months of age, your baby will begin to repeat the sounds you make. This is a key milestone in language development. The baby is learning that certain sounds are used in [tag-tec]communication[/tag-tec] and is attempting to replicate the sounds he hears from his parents. Continue to play with him by making sounds and having him repeat them.
By the time your baby is nine months old, she is beginning to understand that words have meaning. She understands that the words ball, doll and cup stand for actual objects. Over the next month or so, she will respond to simple commands as her understanding of language increases. When you ask her to throw you the ball, you will be surprised to see the ball rolling toward you.
At this age, baby is adding new words to her vocabulary at an astounding pace. Even though she is not speaking them aloud, she understands and recognizes words. Spend time looking at picture books with your [tag-cat]baby[/tag-cat]. Look for simple books with one object on each page. Books with pictures of every day objects, such as cup, dog and butterfly are made for babies. Ask your baby to “point to the apple,” or “show me the cat.”
Continue talking and reading to your baby. As he grows, he will begin responding in two word and then short, complete sentences. The more time you spend talking to your child, the more you will encourage his language development. Modeling communication and giving your child plenty of time to practice his [tag-ice]communication skills[/tag-ice] are the best way you can help your baby develop his language skills.