will I grow out of it?

Speech & Language Development - Milestones
Speech Delay - Warning Signs

Small child sitting in a sun dress and hat.

ages 6 months to 1 year

  • understands some common words when used with gestures e.g.. "bye, bye", "up", "give me" and own name
  • tries to say sounds and words - "ba, ba", "na, na"
  • tries to sing along with radio/TV
  • laughs and may imitate a cough

warning signs

  • are you concerned about your child's responsiveness or babbling?
  • does your child have recurrent ear infections?


activities 6-9 months

  • Expose your baby to a variety of sounds like buzzes, humming, siren, cough, clicking your tongue, or even popping your cheek. This encourages her to explore her tongue and mouth and discover what they can do.
  • Play "where's the music" with a musical toy. Place the toy somewhere in the room and see if he can find it.
  • Songs, nursery rhymes, and anything with hand movements babies love! e.g. 'the itsy bitsy spider'. Play "ride a little horsey" on your knee. Use different pitches with your voice and different intensities...to show what all can be done with your voice and to emphasize different concepts. Like in "ride a little horsey down to town better watch out and don't fall down"....really make your voice lower on the 'down'. This reinforces the concept.
  • Play 'Peak-a-boo!' with a towel or scarf. This is another game that reinforces 'object permanence' but now you are doing it by covering her face or yours. This helps baby to carry the concept of permanence over to people as well as objects.
  • Read books with short sentences and simple illustrations. You can even turn the pages and you just name the pictures.


activities 9-12 months

  • Play outside. Name each thing the baby is interested in and talk to your child about it.
  • Begin teaching 'in', 'out', 'over', and 'under' using a box or sack and his favorite toy. In & out are the easiest to understand.
  • Have baby look at a picture of someone in the family and talk about it and name them. Then take a scarf and cover it up and ask her "where is....?"
  • Again songs, movement and musical games are great at this age. A couple of kid's favorites are "If you're happy and you know it" and "Little Bunny Foo Foo".
  • Books that have buttons you can push and they make noise are great at this age too. Baby can help by pushing the button for you as you read the book to him.

Activity suggestions are courtesy of Laura Renfroe Christiensen, a Speech Pathologist working with children from birth to 18 months of age.

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