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Do babies understand any words at 6 months?

(8 Posts)
lagaanisace Sun 14-Jun-09 10:02:52

I ask because two speech and language therapists have been adamant that babies don't understand any words (not even their name) at 6 months, and that any appearence of doing so is simply a reaction to intonation.

It seems a strange generalisation to me, especially with such conviction. When my DD was 6 months I'd ask her where the 'red man' was at the traffic lights and she'd look around then fix her gaze on him. Talking to other mums, this doesn't seem at all unusual. I've seen other babies waving when asked. Then there are mums who teach signing and their babies start to pick it up at 6 months.

Surely it's not right, is it?

PuzzleRocks Sun 14-Jun-09 15:05:52

My eldest daughter was competently signing her responses to me from 9 months and that isn't a skll she learned overnight so I would say they understand plenty at 6 months.

Horton Sun 14-Jun-09 15:12:25

Yes, of course, they understand loads. I assume mine wasn't some kind of freak, anyway. Plenty of babies of that age are capable of showing enthusiasm if you ask them if they want to have a bath etc. DD used to laugh like a loon if I asked her if she would like a strawberry at around this age. It was the first kind of food she really took to. I assume she was basically saying yes, not just amused for no reason!

lagaanisace Sun 14-Jun-09 19:57:25

I definitely agree, and lots of other mums say similar things. So, why are SLTs so adamant about it?

Horton Sun 14-Jun-09 22:18:53

No idea! I've never talked to one knowingly so I wouldn't know. What do they say? And in what context? And do they have children?

piscesmoon Sun 14-Jun-09 22:27:00

You can't generalise, but on the whole they understand a lot.

jmontan27 Mon 15-Jun-09 18:11:47

I would argue that babies definately do understand words at 6 months. I have video footage of me asking DS2 to wave or clap at 6 months and he was following the commands every time. I don't believe it's a reaction to intonation.

lagaanisace Tue 16-Jun-09 10:18:41

Well, I started this thread because when DS1 (now 6) was a baby a Speech and Language therapist visited our baby group and despite similar anecdotes, she was insistent that it was just intonation and context. I tended to just shrug, as a new mum.

More recently I've had a lot of contact with SLTs for DS2 who's 4 and I usually have DD with me (who's now 11 months). Again, the same.

I'm sure most mothers would agree that their 6 month old babies understand words, even outside context. I don't think we're all being sentimental, are we?

jmontan, you have video footage, so it's not just over positive recollection...!

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