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NYS Parent Guide

6-12 Months: Growth and Development

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Communicating With Your Child

Communicating With Your Child

Enjoying your sounds, words and laughter builds your relationship and helps your baby learn to communicate and think.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Talk to her about what you see her doing and what you are doing together: “Oh, you just put the big hat on your head.” “Do you feel the wind blowing on your face? Look how it is blowing the leaves in the trees.”
  • Sing and read to your baby. What your baby hears in song and from books sounds different than what she hears in everyday talking. The difference is important and will improve her listening skills.
  • Repeat yourself. Read the same books over again, as long as your baby shows interest. Use the same words to describe something, like, ”It’s sleepy time.” The more your baby hears language and watches your face as you talk, the easier it is for her to begin to understand what you are saying. She will learn the meaning of words before she is able to speak.
  • Pay attention to your baby’s face and her gestures to help you understand what she is communicating. Is she pointing at her bottle, or frowning when the music is too loud? When you say, “Do you want your bottle?” or “I think this music is hurting your ears. I’m turning it down,” you show you understand. This invites her to communicate with you even more.
  • Do a little something unexpected! This little person is growing a sense of humor. Make a funny face, movement, sound or word. Watch her giggle and laugh!
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Did you know

There is simply nothing better for learning language than the spoken and imitated words of caregivers, and every word counts. (CHRISTAKIS, D. A., 2009)