Language development – 4 to 12 months old

Over these few months you may notice your bub babbles lots using the sounds of home language in more tricky ways.

Bub can understand many words and may or may not say first words by the end of the year.

Bub will start to connect sound and meaning as early as 9 or 10 months of age.

When bub babbles, yarn back using questions, especially who, what and why kind because this:

  • encourages bub to keep talking and practise those new words
  • helps bub get better at using all the muscles needed to talk
  • fosters better language skills than if bub hears words like no, don’t and stop it
  • shows bub how to take turns.

Talk lots to bub about the here and now and point out and label things because:

  • bub can start to make sense of language when it’s about what they know
  • bub will learn more words.

Talk to bub in a clear, simple and positive way because:

  • it helps bub’s brain store the speech sounds of home language
  • it is easier for bub to learn language.

Let bub hear the same story, song or nursery rhyme over and over again because:

  • bub loves remembering what comes next
  • this quickly strengthens pathways that link sound and meaning in bub’s brain.
Published — 22 March 2019 Last updated — 22 March 2019

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