Children are interactive from the moment they are born. Even thought they are not talking yet, they are learning the building blocks of speech, language, and communication and laying the foundation for their future speech and language skills.
Newborn babies can communicate by crying, smiling, cooing and eye contact. No matter what age your baby is, they have age appropriate milestones that they should be meeting. Here are some language development milestones for babies who are 6 months of age.
Your Baby at 6 Months
1. Is turning to the source of a sound
Ex. Baby is playing on the carpet in the living room with her back to the door. Dad walks in and and says "Hi everybody I'm home." Baby turns her head toward dad.
2. Startled in response to sudden, loud noises.
Ex. Mom accidentally drops a metal bowl in the kitchen, baby gets startled and looks to where the sound came from.
3. Has a different cries for different needs.
Ex. Different cries for hunger, tired, needs diaper changed
4. Watches your face as you talk.
Ex. Watches your face as you talk directly to your baby, or to another communication partner.
5. Smiles and laughs in response to your smile and laughs.
6. Responds to sounds by making sounds.
Ex. Uses sounds like "ah," "eh," "oh"
Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age. Your child should be doing most of these things if not all of them by 6 months of age. If you child is not meeting some or most of these milestones, talk with you doctor about your concerns or contact your local early intervention provider for an evaluation.
Most children are referred for a speech evaluation after 18 months of age. As parents you know your child best and can determine if they are meeting their appropriate milestones. 6 months is NOT to early to request a speech evaluation. We would rather see kids as early as possible then have parents take the "wait and see" approach.