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2-1-1 Help Me Grow: Communicating Wants and Needs

1-HMG-Blogs-Sept-9.25.134If your baby is hungry or their diaper is wet, they will cry to get your attention. Over time, they learn to listen and understand your words, and begin to form words of their own.  Communication is not only verbal; it is physical as well. Eye contact and motions can often indicate if your child wants something, and these communication skills will become more specific over time.

As your child gets older, you can test their communication skills by asking them to go get something for you, such as a toy, bottle or blanket. Another way to test your child’s communication skills is to place several objects in front of them and have them point to, or ask for, the one they want. There are many ways to observe how your child communicates, but the most important thing to keep in mind is that communication is a two-way street. As a baby, your child will learn most of their communication skills from the people around them.

To determine if your child’s communication skills are appropriate for their age, take the Ages and Stages Questionnaire. If you notice any concerns in your child’s development, call Delaware’s 2-1-1 Help Me Grow hotline to be connected with a child development specialist that can answer your questions and connect you to the resources your child may need.