How Baby Talk in First Year
How Baby Talk in First Year
Talking doesn’t just happen. Children have to learn how.
There is a definite pattern which children follow in learning to talk and if you know what signs to watch for you can recognize their progress. No two children will show the same signs at exactly the same time, of course.
Nevertheless, certain signs can serve as checkpoints to tell you how well a child is developing. And so a child who fails to show these signs at all, or who lags a full year or more behind other children in his behavior, may be the child who needs help.
The first year
The baby spends his first year of life learning to listen. Although the newborn infant comes equipped with a pair of finely tuned signal receivers, his ears, he doesn’t yet know how to use them. A buzz of meaningless noise surrounds him and no one sound is more important than any other. Unlike his ears, the hearing center of his brain is still immature.
As the baby grows, two things happen.: he becomes more skilled at picking out certain sounds and associating them with meanings, and his brain becomes more adept at interpreting and remembering sound signals.
This development is easy to see very early. If you make a sudden, loud sound near a day-old baby’s head, you will not see any reaction. Only a check on his pulse or breathing rate will show a change in response.
But just two weeks later, the same noose will make him jerk and turn his head toward you. A noise called the human voice means something to him now. If he hears another baby crying, he will cry. By his fourth to sixth week familiar sounds like the telephone bell or the closing of a door no longer make him start.
He can pick out one voice his mother’s from all the others, and it can soothe him and stop his crying. By eight weeks these mother-sounds can make him smile.
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What is actually happening is that he is beginning to be able to listen. He can select certain sounds and memorize them, so that when he hears that sound again he can match it with the one he has heard before. Attention, selection, memorization, recall, matching—these skills are basic to all learning, and especially to learning to talk.
At the same time these early hearing and language skills get under way, the infant begins to practice sound-making. His first sounds are the discomfort sounds, shrill, nasal whines which he seems to spend all his time making when he is not quiet or sleeping.
They mean nothing to him yet, but are part of his squirming, fussing movements which tell his mouth that he is uncomfortable, maybe wet or hungry.
Within the baby’s first month, another kind of sound emerges: the comfort sounds. These are clearly different from the discomfort sounds. They are less nasal, more throaty and vowel-like. These coos,
gurgles, sighs and grunts are the ancestors of true speech. As the child grows, his comfort sounds will contain more of the vowels and consonants and rhythms which he will later use in speaking.
As the months go by you can detect severe: new kinds of sound-making. When the child is about eight weeks old he begins to babble, a very important step. Until now, his noises signalled comfort or discomfort, but when he babbles he is making sounds for the fun of making and hearing them.
First he plays with the vowel sounds, “ee”, “ih”, and “uh”; then come the consonant sounds, M, N, P, B, T, D, and G. Some of this babbling is social and the baby will perform with other people around, when he seems to be talking back to the voices around him. But much babbling is private and stops when he is interrupted. Babbling is a very necessary practice session for the child and he should be encouraged.
It will take him several years to master the complicated muscle movements which form sounds into words, and the more practice he can get the better. Any enthusiasm you show will add to his enjoyment and the interest in sounds he needs in order to learn to talk.
At five or six months you can detect another change as the baby’s babbling develops into vocal play. He begins to use sounds for a purpose: to get attention, to mean “no”, to mean “I’m hungry,” Private babbling doesn’t stop, but now the child seems to enjoy social noise-making. He will answer your sounds with a sound of his own, lis:xiling and talking to you in his own fashion.
At eight months the babbling develops another feature, inflection. His voice begins to have rises and falls. Sometimes he seems to be asking a question, giving you an order, making a serious statement, or expressing surprise. These inflections sound like true speech. They are the first feature of his babbling which closely resembles adult sound-making.
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The infant who never babbles, or who stops babbling about the time he is four- to six-months-old should make you suspicious. Deaf children gradually stop babbling at this age. Sinop they can’t hear the sounds they make, they lose interest in playing with mouth movements and exercising their vocal muscles.
During this period the baby also shows signs of better listening ability. The four-month-old can tell the difference between friendly speech, which makes him smile, and angry sounds, which make him frown and whimper.
The eight-month-old finds sound so interesting that a quiet, conversational voice can make him turn his head and shoulders toward its source. The sound of his mother’s voice is all powerful. It quiets him when he frets, even awakens him when he sleeps. He will respond to other sounds if they are nearby the vacuum cleaner, the dog barking. his own name. “No” begins to mean something to him when yell say it.
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How Baby Talk in First Year Article Source : Learning to talk by National Inst. of Health Bethesda ,Md, document