Language Development in Babies aged 8-12 Months

01 Initiating Attention with Sounds

Have you noticed that your baby's earlier coos and shrieks have now been replaced by more distinct syllables like "ba," "da," "ga," and "ma"? Sometimes, they might even utter "ma ma" or "ba ba" and notice your excited reaction, realizing they've said something interesting. Shortly after, they'll begin using "mama" to get your attention. At this stage, they may also make "ma ma" sounds as practice. Eventually, they'll learn to say the corresponding words only when they intend to convey meaning. Although you've been talking to your baby since birth, it's now that they begin to understand more language, giving your conversations new meaning.

02 Responding to Simple and Clear Language

Your speech should be simple and precise: "Mommy is using the blue towel to dry your body now. The towel is so soft!" Use language to label familiar toys and items and try to maintain consistency in your speech. Picture books help reinforce the initial understanding that "everything has a name." Opt for larger board books, fabric books, or plastic books that they can flip through themselves. You can also find some simple but brightly colored pictures for them to identify. Pick a picture, point to an object in it, and say its name. The more words your baby hears, the more they'll learn. 

03 Practicing Two-way Dialogues to Foster Baby's Desire to Communicate

Whether you're reading to your baby or talking to them, create plenty of opportunities for them to participate. Ask them questions and wait for their response. Let them take the lead; if they say "ga ga ga," repeat it back, and see how they react. These interactions may seem meaningless, but they teach your baby that communication is a two-way activity, and you welcome their participation. Sometimes, the first word a child says may not be accurate. For a child, a "word" is simply a syllable that consistently represents the same person, object, or thing.

The age at which children begin saying recognizable words varies greatly. Some children may say two or three words by almost 1 year old. However, it's more common for 12-month-old children to only say a few indistinct words. As long as they're making efforts to produce different pitches, tones, or qualities of sound, they're preparing to speak. The more you respond and treat your exchanges as genuine conversations, the more you'll stimulate their desire to communicate.

Developmental Milestones for Language Development in Babies aged 8-12 Months:

Increased attention to speaking.

Response to simple language commands.

Response to "no."

Can use simple gestures, like shaking their head to indicate "no."

Baby talk with intonation changes.

Can say "dada" and "mama."

Can use exclamations like "oh."

Attempts to mimic words.

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