9-12 Month Communication
-Baby should be communicating by pointing, nodding and shaking his head
-Baby will begin to say “momma” and “dada” as well as some other basic words.
-Baby will try to imitate words and inflections in your voice
-Baby will start to respond to being told “no!” by pausing for a few moments
-By 12 months baby can follow a simple direction such as “wave HI” or “Give me a kiss”
-Baby will start clapping in excitement or with a song.
-Play repetitive word games with baby. Use familiar objects or picture cards–point to picture card and ask, “what’s that?” before giving the answer. Baby will learn to point to an object and ask a question by imitating your tone.
-Name objects that you are around regularly. Example: When at the grocery store, pick up the bananas and say, “banana”. Baby will learn that every object has a name and will start saying the name of the objects.
-Teach baby to point to body parts while you give the name. Baby will learn about her tummy, fingers, hands, arms, toes, legs, ect.
-Sing to baby. Baby will start to recognize the tune and become aware of words in the songs. Rhyming songs are great for this activity.
-Let baby read to you! Give baby an opportunity to point to pictures and words as well as turn the pages. Choose your book carefully. 🙂 Pages will be bent and torn.
-Encourage basic sign language. I wrote about sign language for babies here.
Babies typically do not master motor skills (walking and crawling) at the same rate as their communication skills. So if your child seems to be shooting ahead in one skill set, do not worry if they are lagging behind in another skill set. Very active children often only concentrate on language after they have mastered walking.
Personal Note: Both of my children had great communication skills by the time they were one year old, but did not start walking until they were 14-16 months.