Even though your infant can’t talk, he is starting to learn that he can use signals to communicate. When you’re aware of your baby’s attempts to communicate and try to interpret his needs, you are building pre-reading skills, especially when it comes to oral language. Each time you successfully “guess” your baby’s need or intention, you help him understand the cause and effect of his attempts to “talk” to you.
- favorite toy or object
Step 1: Place a favorite toy or an interesting object just out of your baby’s reach. Then, act as if you are very busy and ignore him for a moment.
Step 2: Watch to see how your baby tries to communicate with you to get the object. Does he grab at you? Does he start to fuss? Does he use vocalizations and sounds to get your attention? Does he point at the object? Does he touch you and try to make eye contact?
Step 3: After your little one communicates that he needs your help to get the toy or object, use words to describe what you see. For example:
Is this what you want? Do you want this shiny red ball? Here you go! Can you make it roll?
Step 4: You might try this activity every month or so to see how your child’s ability to communicate evolves over time. You’ll be surprised!