New parents wonder, “When will my baby begin to speak?” and “Is his speech and language on track?” When do you think your baby actually begins to develop the structures and skills needed for speech and language development? Even before birth! Your baby can hear your voice and other environmental sounds in utero. He will not be able to see well at birth, but he will be able to hear everything, and even to discriminate one sound from another. We can see newborns tuning in to human communication; they seem to seek human faces, especially when we are talking to them.
Yes, babies’ brains are truly incredible. At birth they actually contain more neurons than they need, and a “pruning” process takes place within the first two years. Because of baby’s experiences during this time, including the language she hears, the neurons needed to remember and use these bits of information are retained, and other neurons become dormant. Your baby’s experiences will actually shape her brain, and you can provide just the right experiences for your baby to thrive cognitively, linguistically, physically and emotionally. So it’s crucial that you give your baby the right experiences and watch her development through those early years.
But how much do you really know about your baby’s language development? Is your baby right within the typical range for babbling? Pointing? Using single words? Using short phrases? Speaking in sentences? Is your child more advanced? Does your toddler need a little extra support?
Interested? Take this quiz, then click on ANSWERS at the bottom. Hope you do well!
Photo courtesy of Colin Maynard, Unsplash