In my last blog post, we examined some of the typical social, physical, and sensory milestones for babies between the ages of four and seven months. There are also a few important language and cognitive milestones that happen during this time as well.
Between four and seven months old, your baby may begin to make vowel sounds, double syllable sounds, and join consonants and vowels. At this stage, babies pay attention to and imitate the movements of others’ mouths while speaking. Your baby will also create new sounds by moving her mouth into different shapes. She will start to notice tones and the way others use inflections and she will respond to familiar sounds by modeling what she hears, often imitating sounds in one breath. Being exposed to complicated language can help increase IQ at this stage.
At this stage, your baby begins to recognize the permanence of objects: she is beginning to understand that if you leave, you will return, that her favorite toy will not disappear the next day, and that if she hides something, she can find it. Games such as hide-and-seek and peek-a-boo are age-appropriate at this stage. Also, your baby will anticipate seeing something that she may have only seen partially. Further, she will manipulate objects and will be stimulated by color and feeling. Thus, objects she can manipulate, touch, and stack are all developmentally helpful at this stage, as your baby starts to sort toys and blocks by category.
At just about seven-months-old, your baby will start to challenge authority. This will be become evident when she deliberately ignores or refuses to take direction. Also, your seven-month-old baby will display more intimate behavior. For example, she may greet you in the morning with her hands up, wanting to be taken out of her crib, hugs you when retrieved, or even give you that much looked-for kiss.
Some red flags to watch out for at this age range include: developmental delays, physical birth defects, hearing impairment, Autism, Down Syndrome, Asperger syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and congenital problems, such as heart defects. Be sure to talk with your child’s pediatrician about any concerns you may have.