Older Infant: Communicating and Speaking

Posted by Nate McCallister on February 24, 2016

To watch a child smile, crawl, roll, or stand for the first time is a joy. Included in these classic milestones is the infant wave.

Many older infants begin to wave goodbye and make other similar gestures as they develop. This points to their progressing ability to communicate.

There are things that you can do to support this development.

Below are some quick tips on how to support it and some signs to let you know if your little one is progressing.


Age: 8-18 Months
Domain: Language Development and Communication
Sub-domain: Communicating and Speaking


Progress and Support

Older infants show progress in this area when they

  • wave hello and make other familiar gestures,
  • learn 10-20 words or signs,
  • answer questions using words or signs,
  • make sounds or babels alone or in “conversation” with others,
  • sign or say words like “more,” and “up,”
  • know the word or sign for familiar things and people.

Use these quick tips to support development:

  • wait for a response when you ask a question,
  • use familiar and new words regularly in multiple contexts,
  • acknowledge the child’s use of new language (“that’s right, that is a cup!”),
  • play naming games with animals and objects (“what’s that animal called?”).

Resource: Minnesota’s Early Childhood Indicators of Progress, 2007

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Author: Nate McCallister

Nate McCallister started with SonShine Learning Center in 2003 as a preschool teacher. Today, he works as the organization’s financial director and is the site director at the Luther location. He earned a bachelor’s degree in technical communication and professional writing from Metropolitan State University and studied early childhood education at St. Paul College.