Approved by the What’s Up Moms Medical Advisory Board
Your little babe can’t talk yet, but rest assured, she can understand you more than you may realize. (BTW she’s great at keeping secrets. #steeltrap) Hopefully, you’re already chatting with her a lot, and this is a perfect time to more formally start laying the groundwork for communication.
By now, babies can understand their name and might turn toward the person saying it. They can also begin to understand tone of voice and might smile or laugh in response to your happy, upbeat voice, and seem distressed at your stern tone. Use “no” in unsafe situations, but be consistent, and be careful not to overuse the word as baby will become desensitized. Generally, babies this age do great with a redirect (hand them a toy, or introduce a different activity) when they’re doing something you wish they wouldn’t – like smearing your favorite lipstick all over the bathroom cabinet.
You may have seen friends using sign language with their babies, and go ahead, admit that you may have rolled your eyes at what seemed like a showy, New Age-y fad. But signing can actually be useful since it helps bridge the gap between comprehension and speech. As baby’s motor skills evolve, she’ll be able to sign herself, and having access to even just a few key words (food, more, all gone, yes, no, hot) will help her express her desires. And don’t worry about it slowing down her language development. Studies show the opposite — signing actually helps it along. Check it out. You may love having it as a tool, and the worst that can happen: you’ll look like you’re a super together mom.