Wednesday, June 16, 2010

First Words

My little nine month old guy started saying "Mama!" I can hardly believe it!It is so strange. My older two boys didn't call me mamma until they were probably 14-18 months. The third one is growing up so much faster! It is just not fair! And my little pipsqueak is cruising around the furniture. We just bought an adjustable gate for the top of the stairs. We REALLY need to get that up. And I had to replace some outlet covers. He loves outlets and cords! Isn't that just my luck? He sure does make me smile though!

FROM BABY CENTER.COM: Your baby will learn to talk during his first two years of life. Long before he utters his first word, he's learning the rules of language and how adults use it to communicate. He'll begin by using his tongue, lips, palate, and any emerging teeth to make sounds ("ooh"s and "ahh"s in the first month or two, babbling shortly thereafter). Soon those sounds will become real words ("mama" and "dada" may slip out and bring tears to your eyes as early as 4 to 5 months). From then on, your baby will pick up more words from you and everyone else around him. And sometime between 18 months and 2 years, he'll begin to form two- to three-word sentences. As your baby makes mental, emotional, and behavioral leaps, he'll increasingly be able to use words to describe what he sees, hears, feels, thinks, and wants.

In utero Many researchers believe the work of understanding language begins while a baby is still in utero. Just as your unborn baby gets used to the steady beat of your heart, he tunes into the sound of your voice. Days after birth, he's able to discern your voice among others.

Birth to 3 months
Crying is your baby's first form of communication. And one cry doesn't fit all: A piercing scream may mean he's hungry, while a whimpering, staccato cry may signal that he needs a diaper change. As he gets older, he'll develop a delightful repertoire of gurgles, sighs, and coos. As for his ability to understand language, he's starting to pick up what words sound like and how sentences are structured as he listens to those around him. Linguists say babies as young as 4 weeks can distinguish between similar syllables, such as "ma" and "na."

4 to 6 months At this stage, your child will start to babble, combining consonants and vowels (such as "baba" or "yaya"). The first "mama" or "dada" may slip out now and then. Though it's sure to melt your heart, your baby doesn't equate those words with you quite yet. That comes later, when he's almost a year old. Your baby's attempts at talking will sound like stream-of-consciousness monologues in another language, with endless words strung together. Vocalization is a game to your baby, who's experimenting with using his tongue, teeth, palate, and vocal chords to make all sorts of funny noises. At this stage, babbling sounds the same, whether you speak English, French, or Japanese in your home. You may notice your child favoring certain sounds ("ka" or "da," for example), repeating them over and over because he likes the way they sound and how his mouth feels when he says them.

7 to 12 months
When he babbles and vocalizes now, your baby will sound as if he's making sense. That's because he's trying out tones and patterns similar to the ones you use. Foster his babbling by talking to him and reading to him.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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