Why won’t my baby mimic? Mimicking is the way somebody is copying other people’s way of speaking and moving in order to laugh.
So babies are also trying to imitate their mom’s and other people’s words, body language, and actions in many ways.
It is so funny for other people because babies are so cute in their toddler or infancy stages.
It is important to note that infants and toddlers are using gestures and bodily movements as non-verbal cues in the early ages of their lives. It takes little time for babies to start verbal communication in life.
So babies enter the speaking pathway in a step-by-step procedure including babbling, cooing, and mimicking together with gestures and body movements.
Between 6- 11 months old, your baby should be imitating voices and then start to babble. After they start cooing and then lead to mimicking associated with body movements.
1. Get an idea of the behavior pattern, these kids are showing
Most mothers claim that this type of significant milestone can be observed within the age of 10 months.
Most of the time, the parent thinks that mimicking is a significant milestone that they miss with their child. And they also think that it is point to autism spectrum disorder at later ages.
These kids are perfect in kind of gross motor development. They can normally seat, crawl, pull up, and stand. Even if they can stand on their own, for being attempted first steps.
They can pick small things and sometimes try to use the spoon if they need it. Also, they try to use crayons with whatever they want.
They try to turn pages in the book. Sometimes they show a few social interaction behaviors. Sometimes they are smiley.
And it is very easy to make them laugh. They are very fond of playing with their parents. These kids are emotionally perfect. Sometimes they start babbling. But not performing well.
But the problem is they don’t imitate things. They don’t imitate various sounds or facial expressions at all.
These kids don’t try to give any object to the apparent. But they always try to take anything from their parents but they would never give it back
These kids don’t clap don’t wave and never try to blow kisses. They are pointing ability is very poor. These kids sometimes easily get angry.
2. When should a baby start mimicking?
Babies normally start mimicking between about one and three months of age. During this time they achieve few hearing and speech milestones.
You can see them smiling at the sounds of your speech and start your head turning towards the sound direction. they try to imitate sounds they hear but not the physical movements they see mostly.
Hearing and making sounds milestones
Hearing the first word of the baby is a huge life achievement for the parents. Baby learning to communicate is a gradual process. They start with cooing and babbling and after they make short sounds.
Then they start mimicking and jump into small words and phrases. Finally, babies communicate with their language effectively with others.
Later the baby uses words to let the parents know how he feels and what he needs. That is a wonderful feeling to experience as a parent.
Mimicking is a developmental language milestone that can indicate both receptive and expressive language development of your kid.
At 2 months of age babies smile and at 4 months, it converts into a laugh. Babbling starts at 6 months and the baby responds to sounds by turning as a response to their name.
With a little bit of aging, the babies are able to differentiate the anger and happy tones during others are speaking.
They giggle for happiness expressing and cry for unhappy expressions. This is the learning cycle of your baby.
Mostly the baby starts in this milestone within 1 to 3 months of age. The parent can see various types of hearing and speech milestones.
These consist of smiling at the sounds they hear. After that, they try to respond to particular sounds. They are trying to start babbling and immediately those sounds on a minor scale.
At this stage, babies are very much fond of hearing human voice patterns. They also try to respond to those voices. In the beginning, the babies like high-pitched voices very much.
They try to experiment with altering the pitch of your voice. The baby will try to react automatically with you. And this is a kind of dramatic approach to capture the babies’ attention at a very early age.
How to intervene in the first conversations with your baby
Start talking to your baby. Comfort them with entertainment. They try to smile and gargle at you. The baby will automatically show are delighted face in front of you.
Babies try to improve their skills with the basic rules of communication at very early stages with your engagement of talking with them.
Those rules are turn-taking, vocal tone, imitation, pacing, and altering the speed of verbal interaction.
The cooing and the repeating of some vowel sounds will be started at the age of 2 months. Sometimes this may extend within the first 4 to 6 months.
So the first conversations start with adding simple words and phrases to the initial cooing and babbling.
Reaching four months of age the baby some more sensitive to your tone and the voice they hear frequently.
So they try to put words and simple prices along with the familiar voices they hear throughout the day.
They have special occasions to learn these special word imitations with their parents those are the times that change their diapers, beating time and sleeping time, etc.
Dear parents, it is time to track the speech milestones of your baby.
The baby’s early speech and language development is a serial thing. Parents can identify this by tracking language milestones.
Significant language milestone
Firstly you can hear cooing – the baby’s first sound production is cooing. This can be seen between the age of 6 to 8 weeks of age
Secondly, you can see laughing- to see your baby laugh you have to wait until 6 weeks of age usually. The baby will love the things in its surrounding environment.
The babbling together with baby Jargan of words- this is the time when the baby repeats the syllabus over and over 2 sal like Ba ba ba, la la la, etc. They don’t have specific meanings and usually cross within 6 to 9 months.
So babbling is the first thing and later it converts into baby Jagan. Baby Jagan means “speech without any meaning”
The word “no” – babies try to understand the word “no” between 6 to 11 months of age.
Your baby’s first word – during the first birthday of your baby they will probably start saying their first word. It may be together with one or two more words. So the first usually comes in between 10 to 15 months of age.
Your baby starts following instructions- this instruction should be simple and very clear. The babies are trying to speak in response to the instruction this may occur by the time you are little one is one year old.
The imperfect mixture of words – they try to make consonants with their lips like “m” , “b” or “p”. These are very easy to produce. After the baby might say “ma, ma”.
Practice imitating sounds and words
First of all, you need to practice keeping the icon activity with your kid. This may not be straightforward. You can master this skill with time.
By practicing I contact your little one can see your mouth and the way it opens and closes with the sound produced.
At this stage, your baby can be encouraged by the hands-on approach where you can practice seeing the sound, hearing the sound, and feeling the sound.
When to start imitating?
There is no special time frame to practice this. You can start freely as you wish. Firstly you need to take the child’s attention and then ask them to copy that to your mouth.
In this way, you can show your kids to see how you articulate words. This is the starting point of imitating. Your baby will start imitating around 6 to 9 months of age!
Imitation is a very important thing in building language abilities and it will be the first thing to focus on.
Advanced imitating skills can lead to following instructions very easily. Around 12 months of age, the baby’s receptive language skills are very strong and they are starting to follow commands.
If the parent would say “look at my mouth” the baby will directly look at the mouth.
If your baby is so strong in imitating things he or she would strongly try to Mimic At least the sound in a very low tone.
All speech sounds are not acquired at the same time
Some sounds would be massed slowly and other sounds are not expected to be perfect at the same time. So the parents should know what the earliest developing sounds look like.
According to the American speech language hearing association, they say the sounds like d p m h d are pronounced by babies very easily.
What can you do to get your baby to imitate things?
Try to speak to your baby face to face full stop then you can get the child’s attention to your mouth and you can give them opportunities to see the words articulate through their lips.
After looking face to face you can get in their little hand near your face, then you can provide a way to feel the sound in addition to hearing. This is a good tactic to master the sounds.
The parents can exaggerate the sound of the word
(“Shhhhhhhoe” or “paaaaapa” )
Try to raise your pitch when you are talking. This is a special ability to get focused attention for a longer duration of time. If you can increase the time you can allow for more language learning opportunities.
3. How can I help my baby mimic?
Try to practice talking games
the babies are enjoying the vocal games and other instructions a lot. They are highly delighted to copy your cruise and babels parents need to practice simple words containing simple sounds repeatedly.
Always try to create more conversations with your baby. (Person-to-person dialogues)
You can start the first speech and then try to wait for your baby’s answer. Don’t forget to ask questions about your baby. You have to enthusiastically manage your words by keeping direct what you can take with your baby.
Try to use a slow speech pattern and use single words in maintaining a dialogue with your baby. You can ask “do you want your Dolly”? After that, you can wait for their response.
Try to name everything in the surrounding environment-you want to engage your baby with your everyday life and introduce your baby to simple words which are dealing with everyday life.
You can name the family members of your house, objects in the living room, and activities that can be placed in the garden. Always try to use real words and after that, you can cut back on baby talk.
Other simple hacks for improving imitation of your baby
Speak directly to your baby. Because babies are very fond of listening to human voices after that day to try to understand the language. So talking directly to your baby regularly is very important.
This direct speech may be regarding what they are doing. For example, which type of toy that the baby is holding?
You can use simple words like colors, and baby parts names with your direct speech to the baby. Try to use affectionate body language to speak to you a baby
Always be patient to listen to your baby’s response
If your baby feels that the parents are listening to them and they will try to do the opposite thing. So they will listen when the parent is talking to them back.
This is another type of socializing thing which can enhance the quality of conversation between you and your baby.
If you find keywords try to repeat them prominently several times
It is important to talk to you a baby in full sentences. If you can use one-word sentences it will be more applicable.
Show your baby how to play
this is a kind of modeling behavior you can place simple games with your baby by showing your body parts and acting in an affectionate way by keeping your direct I can take with them
Always be patient and encourage your baby
When eating try to model how to eat and when you do household work like sweeping try to modulate with the relevant equipment to your baby
Try to use common gestures with your baby all the time
At the age of 7 to 8 months, your baby will copy and practice complex gestures like clapping.
4. The reasons for your baby not imitating
They may have difficulty imitating words due to many reasons. Sometimes babies are not really looking at you. They do not focus on your eye contact towards what you are talking about.
So they can’t catch the lip movements when you are pronouncing the specific words of key terms. Also, most of the time parents are unable to keep the regularity of having a conversation with their kids.
Due to the above reasons, the children may have difficulty imitating words
There may be difficulty in motor planning. This is a very critical function that is helpful for speaking in a very simple language. To have effective motor planning our brain cells should tell muscles what to do and how exactly to do movements from beginning to end.
But it takes time for the kids to improve this special ability. Some kids have difficulty with motor planning. It may take them extra time to process.
So they might have more repetitions to copying the parent’s lip moments.
Joint attention is an important ability within your kids. It can help to demonstrate the shared attention with you. But if you are singing and talking with you a kid there is no significant body part involvement within that activity.
So if your kid has less joint attention they can’t establish repeat word action when the other person tells by guessing, reaching, pointing, or looking at the object or the person.
If you are not sure that your kid has delayed gross-motor development it may be another cause for delayed imitation. Normally the toddlers stand, cruise, and walk before they talk. Because the brain always focuses on one big task.
If you keep doesn’t have this type of gross motor development properly so you can’t anticipate invitation ability within your kid. But that ability will grow slowly. So be patient until the day you achieve the milestone.
4. The relationship between autism and mimicking
According to new research, autism is now affecting up to 1 in 88 children. An earlier autism diagnosis is very much important to
gain more positive effects of intervention
The American academy of pediatrics recommends that the child be screened for autism from the age of 18 months to 24 months of age is more advisable.
But before going to your PDF region you can check the early signs of autism in babies and toddlers. Please check out my list below
- The baby doesn’t make frequent eye contact
- The baby still isn’t beginning to laugh at 6 months
- The baby doesn’t respond to his or her name or to the sound of familiar boys
- The pointing ability of your babies is very low
- They don’t wave they are hands to say goodbye
- They have a very poor gaze
- Establishing contact is very minimal
- The baby doesn’t follow the parent’s gestures
- They don’t make sounds to get your attention
- They don’t immediate things at all
- They don’t respond to cuddling or any other affection by the parent or others
- They don’t play with other people
- They can’t do pretend activities such as eating laughing
These things are the general observations that you can make when you have suspicious thoughts about autism.
So, At 6 months your baby should behave with big smiles or other warm joyful expressions. Reaching 9 months the baby should share sounds, smiles, and other types of facial expressions with the mother and surrounding people.
On the first birthday of the baby, they should respond to the name by babbling and cooing.
Within 12 to 14 months the baby should understand gestures such as points in shopping, reaching, and waving.
At the age of 16 months, the baby should speak small phrases in words clearly
At 24 months the baby should be engaged in the meaningful conversation
But these types of specific abilities can be varied from baby to baby. Parents don’t hesitate after reading these things. Please take your time to get a final decision because each and every baby is different.
Mimicking is an important developmental milestone. it is mainly associated with the copy of gestures, body movements, facial expressions, etc. normally mimicking starts at the age of three to four months.
but some categories of kids don’t show any interaction towards the bodily commands and some of the verbal commands of their babies even if the baby passes 10 months of age.
So they are worried about the early signs of autism that the children are having most of the time.