Supporting the development of language in months 4-7

This is the third part of the supporting development for months 4-7 series. read about gross movement and fine movement.

Development in the first year
Development in the first year

In the first two months, the child’s primary language is crying! He uses this to inform you of hunger, tiredness or any discomfort. By the end of the second month/beginning third month however, the child will start cooing. Cooing sounds are vowel sounds like “aaaa”, “oooo” etc. After this stage and around 5-6 months and after a couple of months of watching your mouth speak to him,  he will progress to his first syllable which will now include consonant sounds. So sounds like “ma… ma…”, “da… da…”, “pa… pa…”, “ne… ne…”. Sorry to disappoint you but he is probably not calling you even though it will sound like “mama” and “papa” and “dada”but just following the normal language development process.

You can support the proper development of language at this stage by:

Checking the child’s hearing. Call his name or make sounds like clapping or ringing a bell from another side of the room  and see if he turns or reacts to the source of the sound. Children that are born with normal hearing sometimes develop problems due to colds or infections so it is important to check frequently in order to catch any problems early.

Continuing to talk and read to the child. You will notice the child pays more attention and even stares at your face and your mouth when you are speaking. It’s like they just realized the sound they hear is made by the movement of one’s lips and they are trying to figure out how it works so they stare at your mouth trying to figure it out. Give them opportunities to do this by talking to them. Even though they are not able to produce the language, they are absorbing it and building in inside. So tell them what you are doing to them. Explain things to them. Speak correctly and intelligently. Sing songs or recite rhymes that have repetitions. Just talk, read and sing! Remember to make eye contact, smile and use the proper expressions when speaking to the child. See the pictures below. It is usually after this stage of staring at the mouth that they produce the first syllabic sound I mentioned earlier i.e. “ma” or “ba” or “pa” etc.

Talk to the child whenever you can. Tell him what you are doing. Sometimes he will even imitate the movement of your mouth.
Talk to the child whenever you can. Tell him what you are doing. Sometimes he will even imitate the movement of your mouth.

Repeating the sounds they make. When they coo or babble, listen, pay attention and acknowledge or repeat the sound. This tells them you are listening and models conversations. It is important to start from now to let the child know that you care about what they say and that they can always talk to you.

 Remove obstacles. Pacifiers have become so popular that they make a lot of “baby’s essentials lists”. I’m not sure why people find them so useful but they are obstacles to the proper development of language. It is hard to coo, babble or speak when you constantly have something stuck in your mouth especially at an age when you can’t remove it yourself. Please avoid or at least minimize the use of pacifiers.

Again, while the child is not speaking at this stage, the brain is making a lot of connections by figuring out how language works, how to form words, repeating sounds etc. Taking the few steps discussed goes a long way in supporting your child’s development. Speech and spoken language is a big part of how we express ourselves and is an important part of our identity so it is really important to support the proper development in the child.

I love hearing from you! comments, thoughts questions? leave a comment!

Live a GoodLife!

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7 thoughts on “Supporting the development of language in months 4-7

  1. Wow, its beautiful to know the inherent power of children. I can clearly relate to and with this. Thank you for your efforts

  2. I’ve never been a fan of pacifers! They apparently also cause ear infections too! But its a favourite with mums because it soothes and comforts babies..

  3. Does it mean that ds coUples dt quarrels nd shouts while talking, will it affects babies at dt tender age. Will it make dm to be shouting also when he/she starts talking. Tanx nduoma 4 ds educative write up.

  4. Does it mean that ds coUples dt quarrels nd shouts while talking, will it affects babies at dt tender age. Will it make dm to be shouting also when he/she starts talking. Tanx nduoma 4 ds educative write up. Nuoma u talked abt pacifer wht of ds chn dt suck dere fingers at a v tender age will also affect dm. U r doing a great job.

    1. Hello Ijeoma,

      Yes, children are very sensitive to tones, voices and body language and are affected by the things you mentioned. I read a research once that said children who experience even as early as 3 months old are affected by it in adulthood. It is important to avoid shouts and quarrels around children as they are absorbing all that we do. We should model peaceful and respectful conflict resolution. And since we are not perfect, for those times we disagree before children, it is important to also make sure they see you when you make up or say sorry.

      Thanks as always for your comments and encouragement. They are appreciated! Live a good life!

  5. I’m not sure, but I heard pacifiers give babies something to suck on rather than give them the opportunity to suck their thumbs or fingers, which is intro to dirt 101

    But pacifiers you can sterilize etc. it also calms the babies

    My own thots tho….

    Loving your posts….

    1. Hello Mo and welcome to Nduoma.com!
      Sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your comment.
      I think there are other things the baby can suck on. I also think if the baby is kept engaged and his hands are kept busy, the urge or need to suck might be less. That said, some children start sucking their thumbs from the womb so it is a natural need for some children but one that we can gradually teach them how to replace with other ways of soothing.

      I will actually post a message a friend sent me about thumb sucking vs pacifier.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I do hope you come back!

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