For Parents
4-11 months
Language Development (4 Months)

Language Development (4 Months)

July 7, 2022

Normal Development:

  • Can recognize their caregiver’s voice and prefers that voice over others (0–4 months.)
  • Starts to make open-mouthed and vowel sounds (for example, “ooh” and “aah”) (0–4 months.)
  • Begins to add some consonant sounds (for example, “baa” and “goo” and “ma”) (5–7 months.)
  • Can imitate some sounds (1–4 months.)
  • Turns  head towards a familiar voice (2–4 months.)
  • Begins lip reading (2–8 months.)
  • Expresses needs and feelings through sounds and cries (3–8 months.)
  • Uses sounds to communicate pleasure and displeasure (4–7 months.)

What You Can Do:

  • Have back and forth conversations (give your baby plenty of time to respond.)
  • Talk face-to-face and get close!
  • Sing nursery rhymes (babies enjoy the rhythmic patterns.)
  • Sportscast! Talk to your baby about what you’re doing (for example, bathing, dressing.)
  • Encourage babbling by repeating what your baby says and adding more syllables (for example, baby says “ba” and you say “ba-ba-bottle.”)
  • Show your baby your tongue and practice simple sounds together (for example, ‘maa, daa’.)
  • When your baby makes a sound, repeat it, so they can hear their sounds.
  • Pick a word and show your baby what it means (for example, blanket.)
  • Read your baby board books (point and label as you read, name the main character after your baby.)

Our Advice:

  • Listen to your baby’s sounds and don’t interrupt them.
  • Talk to your baby as much as you can.
  • Limit background noise (radio, tv) so your baby can focus on one thing at a time.
  • Remember that your baby is still very young—try not to expect him to be able to do things beyond what’s normal for his age.
  • Remember, some babies develop faster in some areas and slower in others.

Try not to compare yourself to other parents, or your baby to other babies. Every family is different.

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