Developmental milestones include:
- By one month, she responds to loud noises
- By three months, she smiles when she can hear your voice
- By three months, she smiles at other people
- By three months, she is squealing and laughing spontaneously
- Between three and four months, she is gurgling and babbling constantly
All children are different and develop at different rates, so don’t be overly concerned if your baby is acquiring new skills at a different rate to those around her. But if you are worried about her development, talk to a health professional for a little reassurance.
What can I do to encourage her communication?
- At this stage, you are your baby’s favourite toy and there’s nothing she likes more than listening to you – so sing, talk, babble, and copy her sounds
- Always be enthusiastic when your baby smiles at you or sends some burbling your way – if she gets a good response, she’ll want to do it again.
- Explain to your baby what you are doing and name objects that she can see.
- Share a book together – this way, your baby will begin to appreciate the value of speech long before she can understand what you’re saying.
- Once your baby starts ‘talking’, encourage ‘conversations’ by taking turns chatting and don’t interrupt or look away when your baby’s ‘talking’ – show her that you’re interested in what she’s got to say.
- While you’ll naturally raise the pitch and volume of your voice when you talk to your baby, try varying the tone and volume so you avoid always conversing with her in ‘baby talk’.
- Don’t force it. If she isn’t in the mood to chat, just hold her and take the opportunity to show her that, sometimes, silence is golden.
This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot. Sources include SA Government’s Parenting and Child Health and Raising Children Network.