During the first six months parents and trusted subs are the center of baby’s universe. While this remains true during all states of development, from six to twelve months baby develops the skills to extend his world of interest. He becomes less an arms and lap baby and more an exploring floor baby. During his stage, growth accelerates. Baby’s weight increases by a third, first words appear, and true thumb-and-forefinger pickups emerge, as well as first crawls and steps. These skills also bring about parents’ development as safety patrol officers. Baby’s motor development allows him to get more and more of his body off the ground. By six months he’s on his own two feet, and the baby chase begins.
Mastering the World of Words
As baby masters the wonderful world of words, you may finally feel you are getting your point across. At last, baby understands you, though he still does not consistently comply. Simple and familiar questions usually trigger an understandable response: “Do you want to nurse?” “Do you want to go outside?” No “yes” or “no” words yet, but baby’s body language is crystal clear. Unless, of course, he doesn’t know himself what he wants.
Under one year of age babies still say very little with words, understand a lot with their mind, and have very powerful body language. A baby’s receptive speech (the ability to understand) is always several months ahead of expressive speech. Just because a baby says very little does not mean she does not understand what you are saying. In fact, if you double what you actually imagine your baby understands, you will probably accurately assess her language comprehension at all ages.
As well as understanding your verbal and body language, baby now increases his own repertoire. Though still mostly jabbering, baby surprises you by periodically changing inflections and intentions in his talking, giving you the feeling that he knows what he is saying even if you don’t.
The term “word” means a sound used consistently to refer to