of the mistakes that new mothers make is that
they stay at home all day. After consulting your
pediatrician, you should move out. Taking the
baby out helps you, as well as the baby.
you finish the tasks of getting the baby dressed,
fed and diapered, you should be ready to push
the stroller, which is a good exercise for you
and enjoyable for the baby. Even a 10 minute outing
would be good for both of you.
to Four Months
child’s first communication with you is the birth
cry when he herald’s his arrival into your world.
From then on, he continues to communicate with
you in a myriad of different ways. Initially,
all cries sound the same. You are left wondering
whether it is a hunger cry or a wet cloth nappy,
but not for long. By two months, he has a special
cry for hunger and even for pleasure. Three months
of age is when you truly begin to enjoy your baby.
He begins to smile! By four, he will often laugh
Fifth and Sixth Month
can you expect
period heralds the beginning of a
delightful journey in the development of
your child’s communication skills. The baby whose
primary concern till now was to eat, sleep and
relieve himself will now begin to recognize his
own name. He will even look around to see where
you are calling him from. Look at him sternly
and he knows, he is doing something you do not
approve of. Smile at his antics and he knows you
are happy. He begins to recognize words like “daddy”,
“mama”, “bye”. A little later, he will even respond
to words like “come”,
“up”, etc. You will be happy to see your
baby enjoying music. He will suddenly stop crying
or clap his hands gleefully when he hears his
no words are being spoken yet, the building blocks
are being laid now. As your baby explores his
vocal apparatus, catch him cooing at you. Delay
his feed time and watch the baby expressing his
displeasure! After a bath or a feed, catch him
babbling to himself in pleasure. The baby will
also babble back at you, may even say an occasional
mama or dada. But hold on. Do not reach for that
baby album yet, this is not your baby’s first
word as the baby does not yet equate those sounds
you know that the babbling stage is universal
to languages across the world?
you speak English, Hindi or Tamil, your baby will
produce the same sounds at this stage. If you
wish to teach him more languages, it’s a good
idea to expose him to these early on. Gradually,
the brain’s ability to perceive what it does not
“hear” regularly diminishes. This is why babies
pick up languages faster than adults. The cooing
that begins in the fourth month gradually develops
into babbling. The sheer pleasure of hearing his
own voice encourages the baby to babble
Seventh and Eighth Month
baby’s listening continues to develop. Remember
you need to be patient. There is a lot of development
both in the baby’s brain and his speaking apparatus
before he rewards you with his first word.
can you expect in this period
his name when he is engrossed in play and
watch him stop to listen.
even recognize names of common objects like
ball, mummum.. for food or fan, light, etc.
playing peek-a-boo with him.
he may even sing along with some familiar
song without using true words.
may open and shut his hand when he wants something.
Ninth and Tenth Month
baby is now moving fast towards his first word.
Some early talkers may even say mama/papa. So,
this is the time to keep those baby albums ready.
If he does not speak do not despair yet, your
baby still has time. Some babies begin speaking
only in their 14th
are fine if your baby’s understanding is progressing
well. Research indicates that the early
gestures used by your baby is a sign that things
are fine. If your baby is using gestures to communicate,
responds to environmental sounds and can demonstrate
understanding as discussed earlier, you can relax.
understanding vocabulary continues to grow.
will begin to point at things he wants.
He will wave bye when you are off to work
and raise his hands to be picked up when
you return. He may even begin to nod yes
or no, in response to a question like, Do
you want food now? When a baby cannot hear
well, he is likely to babble less or not
at all. This is a warning sign warranting
an audiological (hearing) check up.
The Eleventh and Twelfth Month
now, some babies are saying 2 to 3 words. Baby
is also producing speech like jargon.
What to expect
simple commands like give, come, take, look,
to speech for longer periods of time.
to toys and people throughout the day.
role in this period
your baby babbles at you, babble right back,
he will know you enjoy it.
a lot of gestures and animation on your
face. Be rewarded with huge smiles as you
help him along this prominent language milestone.
much as possible, face him when talking
and look at him in the eye.
will enjoy environmental sounds like the
telephone and various rattles. Show him
these and watch how early sound discrimination
skills begin to emerge.
your baby’s commun-ication attempts by imitating
his vocalizations. When he says “coo goo”,
say “coo goo” right back at him.
talking while you are doing activities like
bathing / feeding him, shopping, etc.
are fun ways of building up language and