Parenting Counts is a product of Talaris Institute.


Begins to Use Gestures and Sounds to Communicate (8-11 Months)

By 8 to 10 months, babies attempt to communicate with others using gestures and pre-verbal sounds. There are two common ways children do this:

1) declarative gestures – where the baby points to objects or touches them to get others to pay attention to the item

2) imperative gestures – where infants want something, and they use pointing, grabbing, and sounds to get others to grant their requests

Eventually, some of these attempts–like a child lifting her arms to be picked up or panting to indicate a dog–start to act like words.


Acredolo, L. P., & Goodwyn, S. W. (1990). Sign language in babies: The significance of symbolic gesturing for understanding language development. In Vasta, R. (Ed.), Annals of child development, 7, 1