Babies learn a lot in their first year. They begin to make more noises and will begin to understand some words. By 1 year, your baby will also begin to look and reach out for toys. Every baby develops in their own way, and you are the one who knows your baby best! Your baby will also start to move around a lot. If you’re concerned about how your baby is growing and learning to do things, talk to your Plunket nurse.
At 4 months your baby might:
try making many different sounds
start to laugh and squeal
sounds change from cooing to babbling.
At 1 year your baby might
be saying two or three words
repeating simple sounds
use a variety of tuneful sounds that sound like speech patterns
start taking turns waiting for you to speak, and then babble back.
Your baby might enjoy:
listening to the sounds of words and trying to copy sounds
listening to songs and watching action songs
listening to you naming objects, such as the names of body parts, and talking about what you’re doing and why
looking at pictures and reading books with bright, clear pictures.
Children understand what you say to them long before they can talk. They’ll also let you know what they want through gestures. For example, your baby may point or reach out their arms to be picked up.
At 6 months your baby might:
turn towards sounds and voices
sometimes copy sounds you make
make different babbling sounds (such as mama, dada, bubba)
cry when there is a sudden noise?
At 8-10 months your baby might:
respond to their name
look around for sounds, even quiet ones
understand ‘no’ and ‘bye-bye’
listen to people talking
use babbling that sounds like real speech
try to talk back when you talk
Children who are born with a severe hearing loss may still gurgle and coo in the normal way and start making ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ sounds. For your baby’s development, it’s important to notice any sign that they’re not starting to do the things in this list. See your Plunket nurse or doctor if you think your child has a hearing problem.
At 6 months your baby might:
follow a slow moving, brightly-coloured object with their eyes
reach out for toys and other objects
hold toys firmly and look closely at them
At 1 years your baby might:
watch people and movement with interest
look for dropped toys
pick up small objects about the size of a pea
follow the movement of a dangling ball in all directions
Talk to your Plunket nurse or doctor if your child:
tilts their head in an unusual way, which may mean they’re using only one eye to see with
has a lazy eye (eye turns in or out), a cross-eye, or a squint
shows any unusual eye movement, such as roving eyes or jerky movement
searches with their hands without looking at the object they want
brings objects close to their eyes
hates bright lights
doesn’t look at your face or turn to look at bright objects.
You can discuss any questions or worries about your baby’s growth, or sight or hearing with Plunket staff.