Ever get the feeling your seven month old infant is talking to you? Well, young infants do talk. Sort of. Even as young infants, children begin to develop vocal communication skills.
Some examples of progress in this area follow as well as some strategies you can use to support this development.
Age: 0-8 Months
Domain: Language Development and Communication
Sub-domain: Communicating and Speaking
Progress and Support
Younger infants show progress in this area when they
- copy vowel sounds,
- use vocal sounds to get the attention of a caregiver,
- create “cooing” sounds influenced by their home language,
- respond vocally to caregivers verbal interaction with back and forth interaction.
Use these quick tips to support development:
- monitor the development of new sounds,
- engage the child in conversation as if they understand what you are saying and speaking back to you,
- talk about what you are doing while you are doing it when doing daily tasks like changing the child’s diaper, feeding her, or going for a walk,
- create space for the child to respond to things you say by pausing to listen–it’s easy to forget how long it can take an infant to respond to a smile and greeting,
- copy the child’s sounds so they can hear you make some of the same sounds they make.
So next time it seems like your child is carrying on a full conversation with you, go with it. Pretend they understand every word!
Reference: Minnesota’s Early Childhood Indicators of Progress, 2007
Author: Nate McCallister
Nate McCallister started with SonShine Learning Center in 2003 as a preschool teacher. Today, he works as the organization’s director of operations 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.