Expressive and Receptive Communication for Baby
Before they say their first words, babies are developing language skills. Language is made up of two parts: expressive & receptive skills
Expressive skills are baby’s ability to express their wants and needs – typically through crying and cooing
Receptive skills are baby’s ability to understand language – understanding what is said or heard Both skills begin to develop at birth.
Baby learns these skills by watching and imitating you. It’s important to respond when baby is crying, cooing, or displaying any type of communication. This shows baby you are listening and that communication is a two-way street. How will you and baby communication with each other?
CRYING – Expressive
Baby is trying to communicate their needs to you. 5 common reasons for crying: hungry, tired, dirty diaper, too hot or cold, feeling discomfort
COOING – Expressive
Baby is learning to use their voice using laughter and vowel sounds
BABBLING – Expressive
Baby is learning to use consonant sounds with their cooing, like “ma” or “da”
TALKING – Expressive
Baby is forming their first word or words, so listen and be ready to respond
LISTENING – Receptive
Baby is looking to you for cures to respond, so be sure to respond to baby when they are cooing or babbling
HEARING – Receptive
Baby is turning their head to look at you while you talk, which shows they understand you’re speaking to them
OBSERVING – Receptive
Baby is watching you as you speak to them and gesture. They are trying to understand how words and actions match up.
REACTING – Receptive
Baby is showing they understand your tone of voice by smiling or looking at you.
Encourage all forms of communication by talking and responding to baby!