Baby's First Words
Month 9, Week 2
Your baby is babbling. If you're wondering when you'll hear his first real word, that typically happens close to a child's first birthday, give or take. This age is a good time to teach baby a little sign language, which may be easier to learn than words.
Also, watch for signs that he understands what you're saying.
Encourage speech by doing the following:
- Give him plenty of praise -- claps, smiles, and cheers -- when he comes out with a new "word."
- Understand that he may go through a phase of using the same word for related things, such as calling all animals "cat" or all men "dada."
- Have regular "conversations" with your baby. Act like his babble is real language. "Really? I had no idea! Tell me more."
- Imitate the noises he makes.
- Be a storyteller. As you do things together, talk to him about what's going on and what you'll do next.
Your Baby's Development This Week
Separation anxiety is on the rise in most babies around this age.
If you regularly leave your baby with a caregiver, you might recently have noticed that he cries when you go, even if he used to be content playing with his sitter. Even leaving the room for a minute could start him wailing.
What can you do about separation anxiety?
- Understand that it'll be around for awhile. Your baby has begun to realize that you're unique and irreplaceable and doesn't yet understand that you'll always come back.
- Make sure he's well fed, rested, and feeling well before you go out.
- Spend a few extra minutes playing with him before you head out, but don't make a big deal out of your goodbyes when you go.
- Have the babysitter distract your baby with a toy or something new to show him as you leave.
You might wonder about:
- New fears. Your baby may now be afraid of the dark, or of once-familiar objects. Reassure him with hugs and cuddles, and look for solutions like night-lights.
- What he understands. Babies at this age are beginning to realize, "Hey, that person in the mirror is me!" and not another baby. It's a great time for mirror games!
- Saying no. You're probably saying "No" a lot more often these days. Your baby may need to hear it over and over. He wants things his way and has a short memory and a lot to learn!
Month 9, Week 2 Tips
- Don't listen to parents who brag that little Sophia is already saying, "Hi Daddy." It's not a competition.
- If your baby isn't making sounds that seem like speech or doesn't respond to what you say, consult your pediatrician. He or she may recommend a hearing test.
- Try to avoid keeping baby in loud, noisy settings for long periods. Research shows it may delay communication.
- Does baby have a big brother or sister? Remember to take time for your older child so he or she still feels special even though baby naturally needs a lot of attention.
- If your baby develops a red rash all over the genitals that also moves up onto the stomach or down onto the legs, it may be a yeast infection. See your doctor.
- Is your son uncircumcised? Don't try to retract his foreskin to clean it. You can cause damage to the delicate skin!Retraction will happen naturally later on.
- For girls, be sure to wipe from front to back to prevent infections.