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Baby Language Development
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Publishing Date: May 17, 2020

From the first weeks of life, babies are born with many “tricks” to communicate, since it is something innate to human beings. From the movements of the lips, to the agitation of his entire body, it is not possible to ignore his ability to communicate.
They do it because they are “programmed” to learn the language and respond to human voices. Since birth, the baby needs and wants to learn the language. First, there is what we call the pre-linguistic period, in which the baby communicates through sound productions such as crying, laughing, chatting and talking. At this stage, we must also highlight his reaction to sounds, if he identifies the sound source by directing his gaze towards it.


The discovery of communication

Crying is the most effective form of communication that the baby has, however, around 2 months of age, it begins to emit other vowel sounds that, combined with smiles and laughter, form the conversation. When the baby talks, adults respond with praise or affectionate phrases, creating a bidirectional, stimulus-response process that resembles conversation. Babies learn basic rules of language long before they are able to speak.

From the age of 7 months, your ability to understand is in a state of evolution, which awakens your attention to the sounds of the conversations around you, feeling an interest in the conversations of adults. Also, you can already recognize his name and pay attention when you speak directly to him. Following this step, there is a lallation that consists of the repetition of syllables, for example, the delicious “gu-gu” / “da-da” that enchant the elderly, being able to remain until 9/10 months, and also the “imitation” phase, in which babies copy not only gestures, but also sounds.

Around 10 to 11 months, there is a new evolution (it can happen later), the baby starts to join the various sounds, in a way that they look like words and phrases: “ohh – ahh – mama”. In this phase, language development takes a “leap”, as a result of the stimuli that babies receive to produce “speech” like that of their caregivers.


Ana Paiva