It’s an important moment——the first word that comes from your baby’s mouth. Before this word, babies constantly repeat sounds like “dada”or “bobo” as well as the sounds you make. These are the building blocks for first words which will come along around 12 months of age.
Your baby needs to be talked to in order to stimulate his/her own vocabulary – no matter how limited. Listening to nursery rhymes will delight your baby. Singing or simply talking will also hold their interest.
If you’re concerned about your baby’s speech development, the experts advise you to talk to your doctor and ask for a hearing test for your baby.
One way to measure your child’s progress and development is through their height and weight. Regular weigh-ins at your clinic or doctor’s surgery will give you an idea of how well your baby is doing. While babies vary in how fast they gain weight, you will see the biggest gain during the first six to nine months.
At six to nine months of age your baby may be sleeping around 14 hours in every 24 hours including two daytime naps.
Your baby will be learning how to get around by crawling. He/she may start by crawling backwards, or may not crawl at all but bottom shuffle instead. He/she’ll be able to sit without support, and by the time he/she’s nine months old may be able to pull his/herself up to stand using furniture or your helping hands. Around about nine months of age, most babies are able to stay upright, sitting on the floor, for several minutes. If they topple over, they can usually get themselves back into position.
Your baby can pull themselves to standing if they can reach the right item to help, such as a stool or chair, but they can’t get themselves down except by falling. Other physical developments between 6 and 12 months:
They start to look for toys, including ones that have fallen out of sight, and then by a year, they understand that an object can ‘hide’ under a cup or a scarf. They can retrieve it, and even show surprise if it’s not there.
They can deliberately throw things from the pram, to watch them fall, and to enjoy watching the adult pick them up again.
Anytime from one year onwards your baby will be standing without your support and will begin to walk by themselves. They may start anytime between the age of ten and 18 months. If he/she’s not walking by 18 months, contact your health advisor or doctor. Your baby may be able to throw an object, point and even wave “bye-bye”. Listen out for “mama” and “dada” around this age as well as lots of babbling. He/she’ll begin to understand the word “no” at around 12 months of age.
Your baby will still be sleeping around 14 hours in every 24 hours but the two daytime naps may be getting a little shorter.