It may seem like a simple question, but communication is more than talking! It is any form of message sent from one party to another, through sounds, words or physical hints, like body language.
Baby won’t say their first meaningful words until they are about a year old. But even if they can’t form words yet, baby is still trying to communicate with you through cries, coos, facial expressions, and body language!
How can I encourage my baby’s communication development?
When it comes to communication, baby learns by watching the people around them. Even if baby doesn’t have the vocabulary to have a conversation with you, it’s very helpful for their communication development if you talk to them!
What does communication help with?
Communication plays such an important role in our lives. It is the cornerstone of healthy relationships. It is the vehicle for sharing our joy, fear, and other emotions. It is how we learn new things at school and work, and teach others those same skills. The benefits of communication long outlast childhood.
When will my baby start talking?
Baby will begin making consonant sounds, such as “da, da, da”, at around 4-6 months. They will also begin to imitate sounds around 7-9 months. But they typically don’t say meaningful language, such as calling the right people “mama” and “dada”, until around their first birthday.
Receptive and Expressive Communication Skills
From birth, babies begin to develop two sets of communication skills: receptive skills and expressive skills.
Receptive communication is the ability to receive and understand a message from another person. When babies are listening, they turn their head toward your voice, and will then respond to simple directions, often with vocalizations. Early on, these vocalizations will just be sounds, but as baby approaches their first birthday, they will begin to use meaningful language.
Expressive communication is the ability to convey a message to another person through sounds, speech, signs, or writing. Babies use expressive communication by crying, babbling, and using body language.
Baby’s communication skills will develop quickly, so we have some helpful info to keep track of their progress!
- 0-3 Months: At this age, baby will be make quiet coos and smiling. Remember to communicate with your baby regularly so they can watch and learn!
- 4-6 Months: While baby still isn’t forming words, they’ll react more to your communication. They’ll also begin to make consonant sounds, which are the building blocks for full words.
- 7-9 Months: The variety of sounds baby can make will increase. They’ll also begin recognizing important words, like their own name!
- 10-12 Months: This is when baby typically begins using words in meaningful ways! They’ll use basic, easy words like “mama” or “dada” to identify their parents, along with using other communication tools.
- 13-18 Months: Your toddler’s vocabulary is growing! They’ll understand dozens of words, may use 5-10 words (or more!) on their own, and answer basic questions.
- 19-24 Months: At this age, your toddler’s language skills continue to advance. By their second birthday, they’ll begin using two-word phrases, follow directions, and enjoy listening to stories.
Your Child’s Speech and Language Needs
Language development and proper communication skills are critical at early ages, which is why we at Little Academy Nursery work hand-in-hand with expert therapists and specialists at Mind Institute to ensure our children are on track across their milestones. On a weekly basis, Mind Institute’s speech and language therapists visit our nursery to evaluate speech and language development and progress. If you feel that your child is experiencing any difficulties, challenges or delays in speech; or if you simply want to learn more, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will provide you with all the information you need to help and support your child. Little Academy Nursery and Mind Institute are here for you – every step of the way.