Communication: 6-12 months

The six to twelve month time frame is when babies communication becomes even more fun! Even if they are not babbling a ton, they are now able to hear and process so many words/sounds! They will begin to turn their heads towards noise, recognize words and begin to babble (gaga, baba, dada, etc). This is also usually when the fight for who gets their name said first (mama or dada) begins!!

Your little one is beginning to understand cause/effect and this can lead to a greater understanding that they have a voice and can use it to cause things to happen! It becomes even more important for the mom/dad/caregiver to label things (ball, water, milk, more, please, all done, etc) so the little one can begin to make word associations with actions and items.

As they near 12 months, you can begin playing peek-a-boo and singing familiar songs. You can take pause during part of the song or game and see if your little one will make a noise to tell you they want to keep playing. Then you can resume the song or game and take pause a few minutes later. This all teaches them how to engage and communicate!

This is also the time that you can begin to teach sign language (if you choose) if your little one is not as verbal. You can show them that rather than just crying, they can make a calm gesture and receive what they are looking for. Often, teaching word associations or baby sign language can decrease the amount of whining and fussing you hear.

Lastly, this is a great time to practice narration. As you are making breakfast or washing dishes, etc you can narrate your own behavior in short phrases so your little one learns more vocabulary. It can feel odd but it is a great way to get your little one exposure to a variety of words!