A 12-month-old baby waving hands is a joy to watch. However, is there something you can do to help children reach this milestone?
The little gestures and sounds a 1-year-old makes is a way of communication. Long before your baby learns to speak, she tries communicating with you through different gestures. One such milestone that she can reach quite early on is waving.
Hand Waving Milestone in Toddlers: When Is It Achieved?
Doctors believe that most babies start waving their hands by the time they turn 9 months old. However, it isn’t a perfect wave. In babies, it’s more akin to hand flapping. With time, they learn the right way to wave and the meaning of it as well.
What the Baby Waving Milestone Means?
Unlike adults who wave to bid goodbye or catch attention, there are other meanings for the same in babies. They may find it to be the easiest way to communicate their feelings. When your child waves, try to understand the meaning of the action. Hand-flapping is quite common in excited toddlers. This generally happens when they see something they like and want to draw your attention to it. It could also mean that they want to get their hands on it. Hand waving can be associated with irritation too. Gauging the intention behind the wave can give your toddler more confidence.
How to Teach Your Baby to Wave?
Whether your baby knows the real meaning of hand-waving, it’s important she tries to reach this milestone soon to build her communication skills. You can help by waving to her when she’s paying attention. Ask your partner and other members in the family to do the same. Repeat the gesture as often as possible and tell her that the wave means bidding goodbye. You can also hold her hand and say “Bye bye” while waving. Initially, the wave will be associated with a number of meanings, but as your child learns to clap and point, you’ll find that she uses the waving gesture for more specific things. Soon, your 1-year-old baby will learn to wave bye and with time, you won’t have to look for too many interpretations.
Know Not to Hit the Panic Button
Most babies start waving hands or at least flap them by 9 months. Some who are 12 months old wave to bid goodbye. However, a toddler needn’t necessarily confirm to these stages. If you feel that your child seems to be lagging, don’t panic. Just make sure that you keep communicating with her and teach her the gesture. Effective communication is the best way to help babies reach this milestone faster.
If there doesn’t appear to be much progress in spite of your efforts, you might want to consult a doctor. He’ll take your child’s health into consideration and try to determine if there are underlying issues to be dealt with. Till then, continue to work with your baby patiently and lovingly.
Has your child reached the hand-waving milestone yet? How did you help her achieve it? Share your tips and help other mums!