Last week I wrote a piece on pointing and why I found it so exciting! It would be rude not to do a post on the most well known and obvious communication milestone in our babies development… Babbling!
Lexi has been fairly chatty from the beginning making random odd cooing and gurgling noises every now and then. She then began to make some consonant sounds. At about 7 months she started officially ‘babbling’. “Babababa” soon filled our house helping me know where she was crawling off to.
Lexi has always loved the mirror so we would often watch each other in the mirror babbling. I constantly tried to shape her first babble ‘bababa’ into ‘mamama’ but unfortunately Lexi was like most other babies and merrily babbled ‘dadada’ much earlier and much more than ‘mamama’. (My next aim is to teach Lexi to sign my name before her daddy’s but shh don’t tell James!!)
Lexi has recently started to add a little bit of meaning to her babble. ‘Bu’ usually means book and ‘dada’ whilst pointing at James is unfortunately also becoming more common. ‘a!’ said with real excitement and fascination usually means cat!, ‘eeeee’ (weeee!) has started accompanying games she enjoys and ‘dot’ has become part of her random chitter chatter.
When Lexi makes these noises I repeat them back to her (see my post on copy cat). If possible I try and interpret what it is she is trying to say and I also say that. This exchange means I am acknowledging her communication attempt and I am then showing her how she could try and say it eventually.
Here is a video of James and Lexi babbling together (sorry for the wind affecting the quality!). James imitates Lexi and pauses to give her the chance to copy him. He also changes the babble slightly to see if she can change her babble and try something new.
Another fun way we encourage Lexi to make noises is to ‘pat’ her mouth or wiggle our finger up and down between her lips as she makes a long noise. She loves the funny noise this makes and will now do it on her own.