There are few times in life as exciting as when your child first says your name. I remember sitting on my bed trying to balance getting my shoes on, giving my husband some instructions and keeping an eagle eye on my baby who was busy behind me thumping the pillow. Suddenly without any warning, my baby girl pulled herself up and lunged towards me. I was still talking and working on getting dressed so I was completely ambushed when she flung her arms around my neck and said “Mumma”, her first word. In that moment time stood still. I turned around and we looked into each other’s eyes. I was looking for an inner knowledge, confirmation that this was no accident, assurance that she knew who I was and that she could call my name again in an instant. She smiled a dribbly grin and I knew we understood each other. Well 19 years later the depth of my understanding of my once-small daughter may not always be quite the same, but that moment when she said her first word will always be with me.
Babies are such wonderful creatures and I’m sure that you too have spent many an hour just watching your little one and marveling at all their new developments. When it comes to developing language, you are your child’s best teacher and conversational partner. You’re the one who recognises the meaning of her different cries. You’re the one he turns to for reassurance.
Babies are born ready to learn language. From their earliest moments they respond to the tone of your voice. Your child might hear all sounds, but she quickly begins to listen with obvious concentration to voices. Children learn speech and language by looking at your face, watching your movements and listening to your sounds and words. They begin to practice speech through babbling, and should transition to saying their first real words around 12 months of age.
If your child is taking a little longer to start talking, try some of the activities below, and call Newcastle Speech Pathology to find out how we can support you and your child as she starts to talk. You can also visit a previous Blog on Late Talkers and feel free to Contact Us
Written by Alison Speech Pathologist Newcastle Speech Pathology