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  • It's no secret that babies make A LOT of noise.

  • But what they're trying to say...that's not always so clear.

  • From crying and babbling to baby's first word, there are so many speech milestones during that first year of life.

  • And plenty we can do as caregivers to make sure that the development process goes as smoothly as possible!

  • But I can't promise no crying.

  • Crying will happen.

  • When a baby is born, their vocal chords measure around 2.5 mm,

  • which is tiny compared to us adults.

  • When my oldest would sneeze, it sounded like a cartoon, it was NOT real sounding!

  • But those cries, the cries were a LOT louder.

  • So crying is a distress signal. But as you go across the first year, the frequency of crying tends to get even lower,

  • and it tends to get replaced with what we call whimpering.

  • So crying, you know, is whale crying (makes sound).

  • And whimpering is (makes sound).

  • These fit into kind of a package that often is coordinated.

  • They'll do both, they'll start with whimpering and then go into crying.

  • But babies are also making a lot of noises we hardly notice.

  • Sometimes they sound like transformers, sometimes they're just bubbling,

  • I love ALL of it, I could listen to them all day,

  • especially since I learned those little noises have a name known as protophones.

  • So they produce squealing sounds of a very high pitch, they produce growling sounds that are very low pitch,

  • they produce lots of sounds in the middle, they produce loud sounds and quiet sounds, they whisper.

  • They even produce ingressive sounds sometimes.

  • What the baby is doing, I think, with all these protophones that they're producing,

  • is they're exploring what we might call auditory objects, that they can control.

  • It's as if they're exploring everything that the vocal apparatus can do.

  • But then after the protophones and the cryingsomething magical happens: you hear a laugh!

  • Laughter doesn't really tend to occur until close to four months for most babies.

  • So there's a delay in its onset.

  • And when it does start, it's really, really, really infrequent.

  • It's addictive!

  • Once they laugh you are chasing that laugh down.

  • Oh, oh, oh, you can laugh now?

  • I want you to laugh all of the time!

  • And then like, a couple months later...that laugh comes again.

  • If you've seen people playing peekaboo with a seven or eight-month-old who is really into the game,

  • you may see just peals of laughter from the baby every time the parent says peekaboo.

  • And it's just so enchanting.

  • I mean, the people watching YouTube videos of babies laughing like this can not inhibit their own laughter.

  • They have to laugh with the baby under normal circumstances.

  • But nearing the second half of a baby's first year of life, something really amazing happens.

  • The noises they make start to sound closer to words.

  • Well, sort of.

  • This is the start of babbling.

  • The baby explores an awful lot of stuff in those first six months vocally.

  • The baby's mind is organizing itself with regard to the control of all of the things that are controllable vocally.

  • The first thing they learned to control is the phonatory system , so the vocal chords themselves.

  • They have to learn how to, you know, hold them tightly and create the right sublevel pressure, and then they start vibrating.

  • They need to sort of grasp how that can be done and the various modes in which it can be done.

  • That creates the source energy for what will ultimately be speech.

  • And OMG my twins were babbling so much!

  • They were just feeding off each other

  • it really seemed like their climb to speech happened a lot faster than with my other kids.

  • At some point, after enough of that experience, I think something self organizes and suddenly,

  • they realize that ___ could be whaa___, and whaaat is a canonical syllable.

  • Of course, they're hearing things that are being said during that period also.

  • By the middle of the first year, we have pretty good evidence now that the babies have actually learned to recognize

  • a few words, and to associate them with objects.

  • For example, if it's a common word that the child has been hearing,

  • they may well tend to systematically look towards the object that has been named.

  • By 9 months, or before the first year is up,

  • most babies will have said their first word!

  • Mama was one of the first words for all my kids,

  • then Dada was right behind.

  • Then they learnednoand that became a little less fun.

  • Of course, not every baby develops at the same pace or meets language development milestones in the same way.

  • But no matter the baby, there are certain things we can do as caregivers to encourage their healthy development.

  • Likebaby talk!

  • I think the baby talk is a terrific thing to do.

  • Why it's a good thing to do, is actually kind of tricky.

  • Because it could be that the primary thing it does is not highlight the stuff the parent is saying,

  • but to just arouse the baby to engage in the interaction.

  • Personally, I would do it, whether I had any literature-based reason for doing it all

  • because I think the most important thing that happens between parents and their babies

  • is this sense of nurturance that gets developed.

  • The baby needs to know that she's being nurtured.

  • All the things that we want for our children are presented when we engage them playfully and joyfully.

  • Thank you for watching Seeker Baby!

  • I'm Angel Laketa Moore, and I hope you're learning as much about babies as I am.

  • If there's a baby topic you want us to cover, leave us a comment. And keep coming back to Seeker for more on babies.

  • See you next time!

It's no secret that babies make A LOT of noise.

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B1 baby whimpering babbling vocal peekaboo learned

What Are Babies Saying, Anyway?!

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    Summer posted on 2021/11/05
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