By the eighth month or so, babies start to communicate with people around them using declarative gestures and imperative gestures.
- Declarative gestures are the kind where the baby points to objects or touches them to get others to pay attention to the item.
- Imperative gestures are those where the baby wants something and they use pointing, grabbing, and sounds to get others to grant their requests.
Some of the most common gestures babies usually do range from shaking the head, pointing at something they want or raising arms to be picked up. Facial gestures like a smile, frown, look of disgust and irritation also goes a long way in communicating to their parents about how they feel regarding various objects around them.
Nonverbal communication is an important aspect of the whole communication process, as it involves motor control too. Your baby will learn that he/she can move his/her hands and fingers and will use them to communicate with you. Simple gestures like waving, pointing, and clapping are inherent to successful communication between a parent and a child. Associating gestures with feelings and facial expressions makes the whole process of communicating through body language more effective.
Parents can greatly help their babies in this learning process. They can use different voice modulations, expressions, and gestures to point at different things. For example, when referring to a red ball at a distance, the parent should point at the red ball with a finger and smile while saying “red ball”. Their child will imitate these gestures and actions and pick them up in the process.