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Language development is about more than just words. Learn more on how your baby’s language is growing!

Mom looking at baby bite on blue pacifier

Between four and 11 months of age, language development includes listening and making sounds.

4- 6 months:

  • Reacting to and moving eyes to noises or sounds

  • Listening and responding to people and music

  • Beginning to use consonant sounds in babbling(e.g. “da, da, da”)

  • Using babbling to get attention and during play

  • Making different kinds of sounds to express feelings (happy,upset, etc.)

  • Noticing toys that make sounds

  • Giggling and laughing

7 to 12 months:

  • Looking when you point

  • Turning and looking in the direction of sounds

  • Responding to name

  • Understanding words for common items and people (e.g., cup, truck, juice, and daddy) by turning to them or using them when named

  • Starting to respond to simple words and phrases, like “No,” “Come here,” and “Want more?”

  • Playing games with you, like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake

  • Listening to songs and stories for a short time

  • Babbling long strings of sounds, like mimi, upup, and babababa with different sounds and rhythms]

  • Using sounds and gestures to get and keep attention

  • Pointing to objects and showing them to others

  • Using gestures like waving bye, reaching for “up,” and shaking head “no”

  • Imitating different speech sounds

  • Saying one or two words, like hi, dog, dada, mama, or uh-oh (sounds may be unclear but intent is clear)

  • Participating in two-way communication

  • Following some routine commands (when paired with gestures) and responding to simple directions (e.g., “Come here”)

  • Imitating sounds

  • Meaningfully using “mama” or “dada.”

For more information and videos, click here.

QUICK TIP: Remember that every baby is unique and may develops at different rates. If you're concerned about your child's development in any way, talk to your pediatrician or family doctor

First 5 California
Contributed by:
First 5 California
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