Communication development: By 1 year

Communication development: By 1 year

Get face to face with your baby. Reduce background noise when playing and talking with your baby. Copy your baby's babbling and take turns in a 'conversation'. Talk to your baby when doing things together.

Here is some information about how children's communication skills usually develop by the age of 1. We have included some suggestions of activities to encourage communication at each age (tips). Use the language that you are most familiar and comfortable with.

By 1 year, most children ...

  • respond to common words such as "no!", "bye bye"
  • know the names of familiar things, such as māmā, teddy
  • will show you objects to get your attention
  • are starting to use some single words
  • enjoy repetitive games with others, such as 'peek a boo'
  • take turns in conversations with adults by babbling; for example, "mumma mumma" 
  • use their words and gestures to be social, to ask and to show
  • start to show an interest in looking at pictures in books 
  • enjoy listening to songs and nursery rhymes

Tips

  • get face to face with your baby
  • reduce background noise when playing and talking with your baby; for example, turn off the TV
  • copy your baby's babbling and take turns in a 'conversation'
  • talk to your baby when doing things together; for example, bath time, mealtimes

The content on this page has been produced in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and adapted from Much more than words | Manuka takoto, kawea ake (2014) (PDF, 565KB)

This page last reviewed 19 February 2018.
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