Talking to your baby between 6 and 9 months old

After six months, your baby will get more control of their lips, tongue and jaw. They will begin to make different sounds, and may even use them to get your attention.

Your baby will probably start saying several sounds in one breath, like ‘ma, ma, ma’ or ‘da, da, da’. They will repeat the sounds they have been hearing from you in the previous months.

Carry on helping your baby’s speech and language development with the following ideas.

Use simple gestures and signs

Use gestures alongside your speech, for example rubbing your tummy when your baby is hungry, gesturing having a drink, or waving ‘bye bye’.

Signing with your baby not only increases communication, but can also strengthen your bond as well. It’s even more helpful when your baby is keen to tell you what they want, but can’t do it in words. Some helpful signs to start with, include ‘drink’, ‘more’, and ‘finished’. Before long, you will see your baby signing back to you.

To learn how to baby sign, contact your local Family Hub.

Use a mirror

Look in the mirror with your baby, and use this time to point out and name their features. See if they can point out yours too.

Read to your baby

Give babies sturdy books to explore and read along as they play, even if it’s just a few words per page. Board books and textured books are ideal. Name the things you see and talk about them. Read to your baby as you want them to read one day, by pausing at commas and stopping at the end of sentences.

Talk about what they are doing

Using words to describe your baby’s actions and feelings will help them learn those words too. For example, if your baby drops their bottle on the floor, say ‘Oh no, you dropped your bottle!’ If they jumped at the sound of a loud noise, say ‘Did the noise frighten you?’

Roll a ball

Rolling a ball to your baby is a great chance to help their language development. You can describe what is happening, such as ‘A red ball is coming to you.’ As your baby’s hand-eye coordination improves, they will be able to roll it back.

Play peek-a-boo

Your baby will get a lot from hiding and reappearing games. Try hiding your face behind their favourite blanket, introducing suspense as they wait for you to reappear. Use their favourite stuffed toy as the ‘hider’ and add a story to it. For example: ‘Where’s Bob the Bear gone? Perhaps he has popped to the shops. Here he is! He missed you.’

Visit the library

Visits to the library are a great way to make a positive difference to your child’s language development. You can borrow books and resources, and there are also clubs and activities for children including baby rhyme time and toddler story time.

Find out more about the services our libraries offer on our pages about Kent Libraries.