Your Child Can Process Small Instructions From You Already

Your Child Can Process Small Instructions From You Already

Your little one's receptive language skills that is, her understanding of words and sounds begin to develop when she's a newborn. But it takes many more months before she'll understand directions like "Touch your nose!"

What you need to know

Receptive language develops on a different timeline than the ability to express oneself, and your baby will understand what you're saying long before she's able to tell you so. By 1 year your child should be able to respond to a basic, clear command, especially if it comes with a gesture, for example, "Give the cup to me" with a hand held out, or with a soft patting motion.

The best way to help your baby understand words and directions is to talk to her — a lot! Use clear, descriptive language and plenty of repetition so that your little one begins to learn to associate individual words with their meanings. Point out the names of toys as you play, go for walks around the neighbourhood or do things around the house.

Repetition builds understanding, so no matter how boring repetition may seem to you, for babies it's actually exciting to do the same thing over and over especially when it comes with praise and smiles.