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Baby Development

When Do Babies Start Talking?

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Do you have a baby at home? Has she begun talking yet? Or is she still too young to speak, but you can’t wait to hear her first words? Are you worried that she may be taking too much time to start speaking? Do you want to know when do babies start talking and when you will be able to hear those cute utterances that make you go all gooey?

If this sounds like you, consider reading our post. Here we look at when will baby start talking.

When Do Babies Start Talking?

The first thing for you to remember as a parent is that all babies are unique and reach different milestones at different ages. Your baby will reach each milestone at her time, so do not compare her milestone with other babies. Just make sure you keep your baby’s doctor up to date about the different milestones she reaches to know if she is taking a little longer than usual. Unless your pediatrician says otherwise, there is no need to worry.

Your Baby’s Talking Graph At A Quick Glance:

Even before your baby learn to talk, the first step towards reaching the speaking milestone will be cooing. She will make various cooing sounds and other similar sounds that will help her reach the speaking phase.

One of the first baby talks that your baby will try out will not involve talking! Surprised or confused? Yes, the way your baby learns or starts to talk will not involve any sounds, but it involves expressions. Soon after your baby is born, you may notice your baby make different expressions like squinting, grimacing and crying faces. She will make most of these expressions to signal needs like hunger, fear, sleep, surprise, exhaustion, anxiety and the need for peace. Here you can learn at what age do babies start talking.

1. At 3 Months Of Age:

  • Once your baby turns three months, you will notice that she is more observant than before.
  • Your baby will intently listen to your voice, watch your lip movement and will start differentiating between different types of voice and sounds. She will also start to show an inclination towards music, something that you may play in your home, the music in your elevator or even the natural music from birds.
  • You may also notice some sound or voice preferences she has, like being more alert towards the voice of a female as compared to that of a male. She may especially do so if you, as a mother, the female, are the main caregiver instead of the father, a male. If you were in the habit of listening to any particular music or sound while your baby was still in the womb, your baby might show a preference towards the same as well.
  • By the end of three months, she will begin making various cooing sounds and may keep on repeating it over and over again.

2. At 6 Months Of Age:

  • At six months, your baby will start babbling and make different sounds.
  • Some of the first real ‘words’, your baby may say are ‘da-da’ ‘ma-ma’ ‘ba-ba’ and such.
  • Once your baby reaches towards the end of six months or the beginning of the seventh month, she may start responding to her name. If you speak more than one language at home, your baby may also start recognizing the same. At this age, your baby may use a particular tone of voice to signal happiness, sadness, fear and other emotions.
  • Do not mistake her first sounds as talking. Even if your baby says something like ‘da-da’, it does not mean that she says ‘daddy.’ Most of what your baby says at this age will be simple babble that done by using random sounds.

3. At 9 Months Of Age:

  • Once your baby is nine months old, she will start understanding some basic words that you use.
  • She will be able to make sense of simple words like ‘hello’ ‘bye’ and even ‘no’ even though he may not necessarily follow your ‘no.’
  • At this age, she may start using more cooing sounds and different tones.

4. At 12 Months Of Age:

  • Once your baby crosses the first birthday, he may be able to say a few words like ‘mama’ ‘dada’ and other similar ones.
  • Most babies at this age will be able to say at least a few of these words.
  • Your baby will begin to make connections between the words instead of simply saying them. While saying ‘mama’ she will know that the word refers to you.
  • Your baby will also start understanding your one worded and simple instructions like ‘no’ ‘sit down’ and so on. It does not mean that she will necessarily follow the instructions.

5. At 18 Months Of Age:

  • Once your baby reaches the 18th month, she will be able to say at least ten words.
  • She will also be able to point at various objects, body parts, and people and name them correctly, even if it seems infantile.
  • Your baby will also try to repeat any new words you say or that she hears. If you regularly speak to her in sentences, she may pick up the last word in the sentence and try saying the same.
  • At this age, she may still not be able to say all words completely. For example, instead of saying ‘dog’ she may say ‘daw’ or instead of saying ‘noodles’ your baby may say ‘noo-guss.’

6. At 2 Years Of Age:

  • By the time your baby reaches the age of two, she will be able to say a few words together.
  • Your baby may also be able to string short phrases and make small sentences using simple words. For instance, she may be able to say phrases like ‘mamma bye bye’, ‘baby want milk’, ‘dog there’.

7. At 3 Years Of Age:

  • By age three, she will have a more exhaustive vocabulary than earlier.
  • You will notice she picks up more words at this age.
  • She may also be able to say and mean words like ‘sad’ ‘sleepy’ ‘happy’ and so on.

As a parent, your excitement to hear those first words is understandable. However, do not pressurize your baby to speak, but let her reach the milestone at her pace.

Hope now you know when do babies start to talk. When did your baby start speaking? What were his first words? Tell us below. Leave a comment.

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Baby Development

When Will Your Baby Develop The Pincer Grasp?

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It is thrilling to see your baby accomplish developmental milestones! While most parents look for common ones like ‘rolling over’ or ‘walking’, a multitude of them are cited by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Pincer grasp is one of them.

According to Claire Lerner, parenting resources director at Zero to Three, a national nonprofit organization promoting healthy development for infants and toddlers, “Getting the pincer grasp is one of the biggest keys to independence. Eventually, a child will use this grasp to do essential things like feed and dress herself and brush her teeth.” MomJunction tells you how babies develop pincer grasp, and the activities and toys you can use to develop this skill in them.

What Is Pincer Grasp?

A pincer grasp is a kind of finger-hold that your baby will start developing between 9 and 12 months of age. She will use the index finger and thumb together to squeeze an object before grasping and picking it up. It helps your little one understand how to pick up things. Once she learns to use pincer grasp or pincer grip, she can successfully feed herself with fingers and can use a spoon. Gradually, the skills refine, and the little one learns to pick things with both hands.

How Do Babies Develop Pincer Grasp?

Babies can grasp things right from the time of birth. It is a reflex action in the first few months, called palmar grasp. The baby learns to hold anything in the palm by wrapping her fingers and thumb around it from one side (1). The palmar grasp gradually develops into pincer grasp, which is a developmental milestone. Here is how she develops her grasping skills through the months:

One-Two Months

During the first two months, the little one keeps her hands clenched in a fist. She can curl her tiny fingers around yours as an instinct, to hold on to them tightly. This reflex slows down by the time she is three months old.

Three-Four Months

Now, the hand-eye coordination begins to develop, where she attempts to notice things and might even try to reach out for them. In the three-four month period, she can hold a toy or block. She may not grasp accurately but can bat. She may hold a rattle for a few seconds and can rake an object towards her.

Five-Six Months

By now, the palmar grasp becomes a voluntary skill. Five or six-month-old babies intentionally grip objects with this grasp. Your little angel attempts to pick an object, cover it with her hand, and squeeze into her fist. It includes the usage of the whole hand to grasp, pick, and hold an object. Once she masters in clutching larger objects in her palm, she will concentrate on gaining adeptness in her fingers in the coming months.

Seven-Nine Months

Between seven and nine months, your baby can use all the fingers and thumb to grasp a small toy. At nine months, she will be able to pass an object from one hand to the other. Eventually, the baby learns pincer grasp between nine and 12 months, in a direct route for picking things. It is a way of getting the index finger and thumb together as if to pinch.

Based on how well the baby can pick things using a pincer grasp, it is classified into two stages.

Inferior or crude pincer grasp: It is an initial stage where the baby uses the pads of the index finger and thumb to pick little things. It may last for 10 months from when the reflex begins.

Superior or neat pincer grasp: It is an advanced stage of the reflex, also called as fine pincer grasp, developed between 10 and 12 months. The baby can pick things using the tip of the index finger and thumb. Next, the baby will develop the lateral pincer grasp to hold an object between the side of the index finger’s mid-joint and the thumb.

Help your baby develop a more mature pincer grasp by trying the below-listed activities.

Pincer Grasp Activities To Help Your Babies

Encouraging the pincer grasp skill simply means allowing the little explorer to investigate a lot with fingers. Let her enjoy touching and manipulating toys or household objects.

Finger Foods: Allow your little one to try a few cheerios or soft finger foods such as cooked carrots or peas on her high chair. Place small food items like cheerios, raisins, etc., inside an ice cube tray compartments and challenge her to pick them using pincer grasp. Use tiny sock gloves which oblige her to use just the index finger and thumb. Keep away hard foods like raw carrots and nuts to avoid choking hazard.

Strengthen The Index Finger: Pointing or poking some object with the index finger is the initial stage of the pincer grasp.

  1. Encourage your little one to point out pictures in books or body parts.
  2. Let her push the play dough to make holes in it or push foods in her tray.
  3. Allow her to push buttons.
  4. Let her pull something out of your pocket and push something inside it.
  5. Let her enjoy pulling out tissues from a box.

Practice With Household Objects: The little one needs ample of practice.

  1. Simple kitchen items such as measuring cups and spoons, bowls, etc., are always a means of fun learning while playing.
  2. Allow the baby to drop objects into containers and help her learn to separate them. This aids muscle movements of the hand, wrist, and individual fingers.
  3. Stick a paper to the table or on the floor and allow your baby to scribble with crayons or a marker. Do not worry if she cannot hold it steadily. She is still in the process of developing her fine motor skills.

Toys To Encourage Babies In Using Pincer Grasp

  • Toys or objects such as dials to turn, switches to flip, can be good pincer grasp toys, which help babies in developing skills needed to get the pincer grasp.
  • Playing with toys, which need squeezing or pulling apart will be helpful. Balls of varying sizes and textures encourage the baby to push or squeeze. They help in the development of the infant’s hand muscles and the ability to co-ordinate them.
  • Allow the baby to play with toys like stacking rings and alphabet blocks of varying shapes, sizes, and textures. Let her pick them, throw, pick again, stack, or knock them down. She may even clap them together.

Be extra careful. Keep choking hazards out of your little angel’s reach. Present one or two items at a time for practice. Too many things may tempt her to use ‘less mature raking grasp’, as she attempts to pick all of them at once, using all the fingers.

What Happens After The Pincer Grasp Development?

Once the pincer grasp is developed, grasping becomes precise. Babies explore more by shaking, moving, throwing, and rotating. Mouth is no longer their primary sensory preceptor. They use both the hands to determine the size, hardness, texture, weight, and other properties.

Pincer grasp helps in later activities such as writing, coloring with crayons, cutting with scissors, and so on. The child’s preference for using left or right hand emerges slowly, although it can completely develop by two or three years.

When Should You Worry?

Every baby reaches milestones at his or her own pace. If your baby is not catching up or attempting for a pincer grasp, she is probably not ready for it yet. Give more time and do not pressurize the little one. While achieving milestones is important, understanding a baby’s developmental stages is equally important! Consider it as a matter of concern if your child is not using the pincer grasp by 12 months. Get an evaluation done to assess her fine motor skills and check if she needs an occupational therapy.

Note that premature babies reach milestones a bit later than their peers. Other possible causes of delayed or absent pincer grasp can be genetic disorders like cerebral palsy and autism. Check with the pediatrician to clarify your worries or doubts.

Hope our post helped you learn about pincer grasp. Tell us when your baby began trying the pincer grasp. Did you attempt any particular activity to encourage your baby or take any measures to ensure that your baby had enough chances to practice? Share your experiences in the comments section below to help other moms.

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Baby Development

Why Do Some Babies Crawl Backwards?

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Seeing your baby crawl for the first time is priceless, even though her attempt may not be perfect! Sometimes babies crawl backward before crawling forward (1), which is absolutely normal. With time, she will discover a way to propel herself forward by learning how to balance, and by maintaining a coordination of her legs and arms.

Crawling backwards does not right away suggest any disorder (such as autism). As along as your little one can move across the floor with each leg and arm, you do not have to worry. Indeed, it can take a little time to get any thing to get good, and crawling is not an exception. MomJunction tells you why ‘babies crawling backward’ is not a cause of worry.

Why Does A Baby Crawls Backwards?

Crawling is part of an infant’s gross motor development, which refers to big muscle movements such as the ability to sit, walk, and run. Though seemingly simple, these gross motor skills require nerves, muscles, and bones to work in tandem and well.

When your little one begins to crawl, usually between six and nine months (2), she may choose the easiest and the most efficient way such as the commando crawl, in which she shuffles around her tummy. If the little one finds it easy to crawl back, she may opt for it for many reasons.

    • If the baby feels stronger on arms than on legs, she will push herself back and crawl backward or scoot backward (3).
  • The upper bodies of babies are more developed than the lower ones, which is another reason for babies crawling backward.
  • Babies who push more on arms tend to push themselves back.

When her legs get stronger, the little one begins to crawl forward. Even if she skips to crawl forward or skips crawling altogether, it is completely normal. It does not mean that she has missed a milestone. Note that preterm babies may take more time than their peers to reach such milestones. Sometimes, infants who are above the normal weight may take more time to crawl, than other healthy ones.

How To Encourage My Baby To Crawl Forward?

Your angel will learn to crawl forward on her own. If you wish to stop your little one from crawling backwards, indulge in a few activities to encourage her.

  • Put her favorite toy a little out of reach in front of her and encourage to crawl towards it. She may struggle but do not jump out for rescue. Let her try. As she tries, the muscles required for crawling forward get strong.
  • Get yourself down on the floor and show her how to crawl forward. You could be funny as you do that.
  • Once your baby comes to a crawling position, gently propel her forward by placing your hand on her bottom.
  • Try moving her legs and arms to get the feeling of moving forward.
  • Entice your little one forward with her favorite food.
  • Use tummy time mats for your baby to practice crawling.
  • Your little one needs loads of praises and encouragement from you to learn something new. Shower them and see the difference.

However, remember not to force the baby. It should be fun for your baby to learn to walk and crawl. Also, do not compare your little one with other babies of her age. She may be slightly ahead or behind them. You should let her grow at her own pace. Bear in mind that backward crawling or whatever will be a matter of past after a few months as your little angel will be walking and running around then!

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