Tag Archives: development

Baby Talk

Forest has been working on language all his life, I guess.  We were just remembering how he was “talking” (babbling really) at three months old for awhile.  I forget how long–maybe a month or so, and then he mostly stopped talking for several months and started again at around 10-11 months.  Please correct me if I’m wrong, Donald!  He must have been so busy working on some physical development milestones that his language acquisition work went into the background for awhile.

A few weeks ago, around April 1, 2012, I wrote down some of the things he was saying:  Forest loves fruit and screams and “talks” until he gets it when he sees us cutting it. So funny.  Forest says mamamamamama, adadadadada, ayayayayayaya, alalaalalalala, ababababobovovu, and variations on all of those. He has said “mommy” just a few times when he really wanted me, and he used to say “emmy” when he was maybe 6-8 months old (maybe even younger?), occasionally, when he wanted me. Then, he began using “em” for milk or bottle as well.  Later, “em” extended to any food item he really wanted.  Now, at 14 months, his own word, “em,” is still used to refer to me, milk, food, or water sometimes as the situation requires.

I love talking back to him in his “language.”  He will hold an extended conversation, and seems to respond better if you try to use his words.  Sometimes I can distract him from fussing by engaging him in this sort of a babbling conversation.

Forest clearly understands many, many words in English.  There are so many things that we ask him, which he can answer in some nonverbal manner.  When I ask him, “which book would you like to read,” while holding up two books, Forest will select a book by hitting it and making an excited noise.  When we ask him if he would like a certain type of especially yummy food, such as fruit, he signals his affirmative response with a sharp intake of air.  Silence in this case would indicate “no.”

Often, he communicates what he wants with gestures and sounds.  Lately, he has been asking to nurse during the day by walking over to the couch where we usually sit, hitting the nursing pillow, and making an emphatic, excited noise.

Forest has very recently–a few days ago– started giving hugs.  He used to indicate his affection  or joy at seeing a parent, a cat, or a stuffed animal by reaching out for it with his hands and burrowing his face into it.  This earlier form of hugging seems to me to be an extension of the “rooting” response newborns have in searching for the nipple.  He often still burrows into my breast in that manner.  This new form of hugging seems to be a new social communication skill he has learned.  He smiles, puts his arms around my neck, and pulls himself toward me to put his face next to my face or neck.  It’s very, very sweet, and it just melts my heart every time he does it.


five months old today!

Donald has a state Audubon Council meeting today.  I could have gone to part of it with the baby, but I opted to stay home this morning.  It’s been fun having Forest all to myself for the first time in a long while.  I’ve enjoyed changing diapers, playing with him, and seeing how different he is from when I used to be home with him all the time before returning to work.

One difference is that I was able to quickly clean the kitchen up while he played with toys and later was resting (but not napping) in his crib with his rainforest mobile going.  He was making some sounds part of the time, but it mostly sounded like talking with not too much fussing.  When he started to fuss, I changed a diaper then moved him to the crib.  I was truly amazed that I was able to finish my modest kitchen cleaning plans while Forest cooed and relaxed in his crib before he cried and wanted to nurse to sleep for a nap.

This afternoon, I’m headed to Midwest City for lunch with my Ladies’ Night Out friends, three girls I’ve known since junior high school.  Forest is coming with me, and I am eager for them to see how much he has grown since we last got together.

Tonight, we are tentatively planning to introduce a small amount of rice cereal as Forest’s first solid food.  I think it may be time since Forest has been showing interest in his parents’ food for the last few weeks.  He has been exclusively breastfed and fed with expressed breast milk for these first five months, and I’m a little reluctant to let go of his lovely milky breath and non-smelly stools that exclusively breastfed babies have.  We could put it off a few more weeks until he is 6 months old, since the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, but I think that if we supplement with just a small amount of solids for the next month that would be fine.  The pediatrician gave us the okay to start solids at 4 months.