LEARN ABOUT MY
Formerly the Welcome Baby Newsletter
This feature article offers some tips for you to help your baby make the transition from "goo goo ga ga" to real words!
At 10 months old, your baby understands many more words than she can say. From watching and listening to you, she’s learning how to make the sounds that are the building blocks for words she’ll eventually be saying for herself.
Your baby probably associates waving his hand with “bye-bye,” “ouch” with getting hurt, and “night night” with bedtime. He may even be able to follow simple instructions such as “Bring me the ball” or “Show me the moon.”
Here are some suggestions for every day word play:
Look together for people, pets or things around the house. Point to and then name the item, animal or person .
Ask him to “Show me baby’s belly button” or “Give Mommy a kiss.”
Your baby is too young to understand pronouns such as “you,” “I” or “me.” Sometimes use his name when describing his actions: “Tommy is drinking juice from a cup.”
Try fingerplay. Simple songs such as the Eensy-Weensy-Spider and Pat-a- Cake will soon become favorites.
Provide a toy telephone so she can “talk” on the phone when you do.
Make reading picture books with simple rhymes or stories part of your everyday routine.
Develop your own private sign language. Rubbing his tummy might be the sign for hunger, tilting his head back as if with a cup or bottle for thirst, and resting his head on his folded hands can indicate sleepiness. Introduce these one sign at a time, giving him as long as it takes to learn each before moving on to a new sign.
Reprinted with permission from Welcome Words, a publication of the Welcome Baby Program of Durham County, NC, Cooperative Extension.
This featured article offers ideas for more advanced games, from hide-and-seek to naming games, that encourage your baby's developing brain and motor skills.
Between 10 and 11 months, your baby:
Can play peek-a-boo
Poke and point with her index finger and pick up finger foods with her thumb and finger
May not want to lie still for diaper changes (a special toy to hold can help!)
And your baby may also be able to:
Play patty-cake, clap hands or wave bye-bye
Understand “no” (but not always obey)
Playtime is Learning Time With Your 9-to-12-Month-Old
Your baby’s at a wonderful age to enjoy games that combine words with actions. Here are some suggestions for play time, but remember: If your baby looks away, she’s probably lost interest. She’s giving you a signal that she’s had enough of the game and is ready for a break.
Naming: You can help your baby begin learning the names for animals and machines. When you see a cat, for instance, say, “The cat says ‘meow’.” Picture books are a good way to extend this naming game to things that you don’t often see, such as horse, cow, car, plane, train or fire truck.
You’ll also want to be sure you name the items that you give your child so she begins to associate the word with the object, such as “ball” and “block.” And don’t forget to describe actions as well: “The dog is barking” or “That girl is swinging.”
When you hear your baby repeat a sound such as “da” or “la,” tell him, “Yes, you’re talking,” and repeat the sound for him by saying, “la la la.” Give him a chance to say it back to you. Encourage one sound at a time. Sounds you’re likely to hear are “da,” “la,” “ma,” “bi” and “me.” Changing the pitch and tempo of sounds will keep your baby interested in this game longer.
Continue all the rhyming games you’ve played such as “Pat- a-Cake” and “Hickory Dickory Dock.” Try adding “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” as you help get your baby dressed.
If you are consistent, your baby will soon begin to associate certain rhymes with routines such as bathing, dressing, eating and naptime/bedtime.
Your baby is probably ready for new, more physical activities, such as rolling a ball to one another, piling sofa cushions on the floor for her to crawl over, and a simple game of hide-and-seek (hide partially behind a chair or doorway and ask your baby to come find you).
Hide a small stuffed toy so that it can be partially seen in your pocket. Ask your baby to find it. Hide something in a large paper bag or box with a lid and show him how to make it appear or disappear by closing the lid or bag. Show him how to place one block or small box on top of another for a small tower.
Move several chairs close together so that your baby can practice cruising by using them for support. Put a small toy on each chair to encourage her to reach for it.
Show your baby a small but safe item (a block or another small toy) that will fit in one of your hands. Put your hands together and shake them, saying, “Shake it up, shake it up, shake it up, now; shake it up, shake it up, shake it up, shake it up and how!”
Hide the item in one fist and then hold both fists out to baby, asking, “Which hand?” When she discovers the correct hand, exclaim, “Yes, you found it!” Babies, and older children, will play this game endlessly, and it’s a quick diversion while waiting in a grocery store checkout line or doctor’s office.