Speech and Language Developmental Milestones at 3 months:
- Babies cry to let you know what they need; e.g. when they are tired, hungry, in pain or want company.
- Babies make cooing sounds and use mostly vowels.
- Babies will imitate some of the sounds you repeat back to them.
- Babies make a variety of vowel sounds, like “oo”, “ah”.
- Babies smile when you talk to them and when you use a gentle or animated voice.
- Babies pay close attention to your face and look closely at you, especially when you talk to them.
- Babies startle to loud noises and look toward sounds in their environment.
How to make daily routines into language learning opportunities
- All children need to have a variety of experiences, even when they are babies and haven’t yet begun to talk.
- During a walk outside, talk about what you are seeing. When babies hear you talking to them, they will begin to pay attention.
- During feeding time, dressing time and bath time, talk to your baby about things your baby shows interest in. Give your baby the words your baby will need later when it is time to start talking (e.g. “Let’s put your diaper on.”) (“You sound like you are hungry.”).
- When your baby makes cooing sounds, imitate them and look at your baby’s face. It is important for your baby to see your face because your baby will become more engaged and want to interact more with you.
- Give your baby time to make sounds back to you. It sometimes takes the baby a few seconds to make the sounds again. Be patient and give lots of time. Even before your baby can talk, you can share making sounds back and forth. When you are changing your baby’s diaper and your baby can see your face that is a perfect time for singing songs and sharing time together.
What are the best ways to encourage speech and language at this stage?
- Sing songs to your baby. The rhyme and rhythm of music, gets your baby’s attention and as the baby gets older, they will begin to join in.
- Your community Ontario Early Years Centre is an excellent place to learn some new songs and participate in activities for you and your baby. All programs are free and are listed on the Ontario Early Years website.
- Repeat many of the words and songs you are sharing with your baby. You might think you’ve sung the song enough, or said the word 100 times. Children love repetition and this is how they learn. You can never say a word or sing a song too many times.
- Use a lot of variety of intonation in your voice. Make sounds in a sing song way. This gets your baby’s attention and gives your baby a variety of sounds to imitate back to you.
- Even at this early age, you can share books with your baby. When you show your baby pictures in the book and name the objects, you are introducing your baby to the joys of books. A visit to your public library for baby story time is a good way to begin to get ideas for reading with your child and to meet other parents of babies. Library story times and other activities are listed on library websites such as the London Public Library, Middlesex County Libraries, Elgin County Libraries and Oxford County Libraries.