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HAS YOUR BABY REACHED THESE 6 DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES?
As a speech therapist I am often asked: "Is my baby on track for "normal" speech and language development?" Every baby is different, but below we discuss what you typically see during a baby’s first year.
1.BABY LOOKS AT YOU AND REACTS
You love to look at your baby and your baby loves to see you too. You can tell because a smile lights up his/her face. They may reach toward you or follow you with their eyes around the room.
We all love to hear the “sweet sounds” that show pleasure and curiosity. These first open vowel sounds (oooh, ahhh) are an amazing feat for an infant and demonstrate that he/she has coordinated his/her breathing and voice box in response to a feeling they have and initiates communication.
3. BABY CRIES
It is essential for your child to express displeasure by crying. Crying is an essential tool for children to learn that they can influence their environment and the people in it. If your baby never cries, it might be a warning sign.
4. BABY SEEKS SOURCE of SOUND
Hearing is an important job for babies. Make SURE their hearing is not impaired by clogged ears or undiagnosed hearing loss. Babies develop the “ability” to orient toward sound that is in front, then to the right,left, above /below and finally in back of them.
5. TOWER of BABBLE
As a baby's voice box develops, he/she can begin to say isolated sounds (such as b,p,m) and then add vowels after these. Eventually repeated sounds become transformed into word(s), right around 1-year old.
6. BABY BEGINS TO CONTROL MOVEMENTS
HOW babies eat, drink and play is important for healthy speech development. For example, did you know that introducing cup drinking can help babies learn skills necessary for clear articulation? By cup drinking, babies learn to pull back their tongue (retraction) "grade" their movements, and coordinate the transport of food for swallowing.