Communication with your baby
Posted by Admin Dino, September 5, 2012
Communication is a two-way process and depends not only on words but also on facial expressions, gestures and timing. Pointing is one of the earliest indications your baby is trying to 'talk' to you and the practice of making a noise will start around now. From birth, the feeding process will have taught your baby about taking turns, which is the basis of communication, since she was a few days old, she will have been tuning in to speech rhythms and eye contact. Now she's ready for some sounds — by six months many babies are making sing-song vowel sounds or single and double 'syllables': a-a, muh, goo, der, or aroo.
Your baby is also beginning to understand intonation. She is likely to respond with smiles when you talk happily to her and with concentration or surprise when you talk seriously. She's also becoming much more vocal about her likes and dislikes: laughing when a toy does something unexpected or you play peek-a-boo or scream in annoyance when you refuse to let her feed herself.
By nine months your baby will understand when you say 'no', although it won't always have the effect you'd like. Many babies like to check you're looking their way before they head towards your potted plants. Babies of this age also understand 'bye-bye' and by eight or nine months your baby's wrists will be strong enough for her to wave good-bye from the wrist only. It will be another month or so until she can give a full wave.
By now she'll be imitating the sounds you make, and will love doing it. The more you talk to her, the more she'll babble back loudly and tunefully, using long repetitive strings such as dad-dad-dad and mam-mam. As you talk to her about the car or the latest political scandal, she'll listen and then, as you stop talking, she'll take her turn by accompanying her babbling with accentuated facial expressions - lots of raised eyebrows, big smiles and head turning. Most of the times it will be the spitting image of you as you talk! She'll also practise her expressive babbling when she's on her own. Even without an audience she still finds it rewarding.
You could start teaching her the word for eyes, nose and mouth — pointing to your own face as you do so. Whether she understands what you're on about or not, she'll still enjoy the game.