During these months, your baby is learning to talk with lots of babbling and laughing. They are discovering a new range of sounds as well as imitating some of those sounds. They will also start to understand different tones of voice and respond accordingly.
Having a “conversation” with your baby is as important as ever during this time. Surprisingly, babies comprehend words long before they can say them, so use real words and cut back on the baby talk.
Listed below are some typical milestones, enhancement activities and red flags for your baby’s hearing and speech development at this age. Note that every child is different, and some reach these milestones sooner or later than others. If your child is not achieving these developmental milestones, consider contacting your pediatrician or family health physician.
- Turns head to locate sounds beyond what able to see
- Notices toys make sounds
- Shows interest and pleasure when spoken to
- Responds to different tones and sounds but not upset
- Calms by favorite sounds
- Begins to repeat sounds (such as “ooh,” “ahh,” and “ba-ba”)
- Responds to name when called
- Makes sounds to get attention
- Shouts to gain attention
- Understands “no-no” and “bye-bye”
- Does not laugh or smile
- Makes little noise
- Does not respond to sound or responds only to loud sounds
- Does not interact vocally by making sounds or makes sounds only in monotones
- Call baby by name
- Play vocal and simple games like peek-a-boo
- Talk about activities during play
- Make play sounds and wait for response: taking turns
- Name body parts while playing and dressing
- Read to your baby
By the end of eight months, you can expect a lot of progression in your baby’s ability to listen and talk. They will respond to their names, respond to sounds by making their own, babble repetitive consonants, imitate sounds and even associate words with familiar objects. Reinforce this progress by introducing your baby to simple words that apply to everyday life. They understand more that you think!