When my friends’ babies started to point I got really excited. They looked at me like they were pleased I was taking an interest in their child but really…is it that exciting Sarah?!!?
Well I think so! Pointing is quite a big step in terms of communication. Pointing is babies way of saying “look!” , asking a question “what’s that?”, asking for something “I want that” and exploring “ooh, this feels different”.
It is also a way that babies can encourage adults to talk and interact with them. Pointing grabs adults attention as it is something we recognise and use ourselves. When we see a baby pointing we automatically tell them what it is they are pointing at. This provides babies with lots of new words that they can start to absorb and begin to store ready to use when they want to start talking.
I have been pointing for Lexi for a while to direct her attention. I point; when we are in the city and I see something she might like; when we are looking in her wardrobe for something to wear; at a bubble as it floats past; as someone new walks into the room; at pictures in books.
I love our local library and every 3 weeks Lexi and I get a few new books so that we can explore something new.
When Lexi first began to point it was fleeting and possibly even accidental. I encouraged her by copying her point. [see my post; Copy Cat]. Lexi enjoyed me copying her and she realised her pointing had an effect on me (built upon the cause and effect play I mentioned in an earlier post; Home made toys). She became interested in pointing more and now her pointing is much more meaningful. She will even accompany her pointing with some sounds. This is early communication. VERY exciting to a speech and language therapist mumma 🙂
So here is my proud mum moment when I captured her pointing on camera and when her Dad responded perfectly:
When I am naming or playing with the object Lexi is pointing at I am following her lead. Following her lead encourages learning because we are focusing on what she enjoys. We all know that if you are bored or not interested in something you may as well give up on it and come back at another time. Following a child’s lead is a whole other blog post still to come….. Obviously you can’t do this all the time as babies always seem to get drawn to things they shouldn’t… like scissors or wires… why wires?!!?