Language Development — Infants 4-8 Months

Children learn language in stages. Beginning at birth, your baby receives information by hearing you and others make sounds and by watching how you communicate with others. At first, the pitch and level of your voice is most interesting to your baby: a soothing voice assures forthcoming comfort; a loud voice most likely startles and indicates something is wrong. Your baby also receives signals by watching you. Thus, it’s important to be aware of both your facial expressions and your tone, as you play a major role in your child’s development of language.

4-6 months:

Sounds-Between four and six months your infant begins to notice both the way you to talk to her and the individual sounds you make. Your child will listen to the vowels and consonants and begin to notice the way these combine into syllables, words and sentences. Talk to your child constantly. Use simple words and exaggerate certain vocal sounds and expression. By doing so you will coax language along.
Babbles-Soon your child will start to babble, using many of the rhythms and characteristics she has heard from you. Although it may initially sound like gibberish, listen closely – you’ll hear her raise and drop her voice like you do when making a statement or asking a question. If you hear the sound “bah”, maybe introduce the words “bottle” or “bath”, or better yet, sing “Baa, Baa, Black sheep…”
Chuckles, expresses delight or boredom-Remember, your infant is both listening to and watching you. Exchange facial expressions with your child. Make her laugh, and be sure to respond whenever she tries to respond to you, being sensitive to the emotions she expresses.

6-8 months:

Imitating sounds– Your participation in your child’s language development becomes increasingly important throughout infancy. For example, your child will try to follow your lead. Introduce simple syllables and words such as ‘baby,” “mama,” “dada,” “dog.”
You will be amazed at what your baby can understand. In addition she will begin to take turns in her vocalization. By the end of this milestone she will respond to her own name and will also begin to respond to “no.” Watch out though, it won’t be long before she will be saying no back!!! Enjoy “hearing” your child’s growth, giggles and “conversations” all while having …“Fun to Flourish.”