By 6 months, your baby

    •turns to source of sounds
    • startles in response to sudden, loud noises
    • makes different cries for different needs - I'm hungry, I'm tired

    • watches your face as you talk
    • smiles and laughs in response to your smiles and laughs
    • imitates coughs or other sounds - ah, eh, buh

By 9 months, your baby

    • responds to his name
    • responds to the telephone ringing or a knock at the door

    • understands being told "no"

    • gets what she wants through gestures, e.g. reaching to be picked up
    • plays social games with you, e.g. peek-a-boo

By 12 months, your baby

    • follows simple one-step directions - "sit down"
    •looks across the room to something you point to
    • consistently uses three to five words
    • uses gestures to communicate - waves "bye bye", shakes head "no"
    • gets your attention using sounds, gestures and pointing while looking at your eyes
    • brings you toys to show you
    • "performs" for attention and praise
    • combines lots of sounds as though talking - abada baduh abee
    • shows interest in simple picture books

Babies like it when you:

  • Get down to their level so they can see your face. This tells them that you're interested in what they're doing and saying.
  •  It makes it easier to interact with them.
  • Repeat the sounds they make. Babies enjoy making noises and they like it when you imitate them over and over.
  • Sing and laugh, especially when you are feeding, bathing and changing them. Remember to talk to your baby throughout the day about things you do and see:
                  • Mommy's putting on her coat.
                  •That's a big truck.
  • Tell them the names of the objects they are looking at and playing with. Babies are interested in exploring and learning about new things, and like to hear what things are called.

From:  Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services