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Language development from 6 to 12 months

Tips for talking

At this early stage, children begin to pay more attention to people and become more interested in what is going on around them.

At this stage of your child’s development, use lots of different sounds to interest your child. These can be sounds that you make or sounds that things make, such as a rattle or a squeaky toy. By drawing a child’s attention to sounds in their environment, you can help to develop their listening skills and their awareness of things around them.

Make good use of everyday activities like getting dressed, feeding or nappy changing. These are great opportunities to encourage a child to look at you and make eye contact. It helps to establish their attention and basic communication skills.

Use actions and gestures with words, for example waving as you say ‘bye-bye’ or pointing to or picking up their cup as you say ‘drink’. The more that you use gestures and actions with words, the easier it is for them to relate what they see and what they do with the language that they hear.


Children will develop different language skills at different rates, but by this stage they will typically babble things or sounds, listen attentively and start to understand words like ‘bye-bye’ and ‘up’.

By 12 months or so, most children have one or two words that they say with meaning and can comply with simple requests (e.g. “Can I have your cup?”) or commands (e.g. "Don't touch!") and questions (e.g. “Where's your tummy?”).


Remember that every child is unique and will develop language skills at different rates.


Your child will begin to become more interested in what’s going on around them.


Comment on everyday activities that your child is involved in, like getting dressed, eating and bath time.