October 3, 2012

Is my 14 month old “trying to get attention?"

My 14 month old played a lot of peek-a-boo at the dinner table last night while we were eating with friends, and the discussion had me wondering was it really just a way for him to try to be get attention while we were having adult conversation? Or could it be a more sophisticated way for him to be trying to have fun too and socialize?  

Babies have the ability to understand a lot about language at 14 months old. I know, because of all of the things I communicate that can prompt immediate action...get the ball, time to eat, want to read a book, turn off the lights, good job!! And since they can only say just a handful of words, they have to be taking in a ton more than they are able to communicate back.  

So sure, playing peek-a-boo is probably an easy way to get attention, but I don’t think it’s that simple. I think it could be a major form of communication for babies that should be encouraged. It could be that they are trying to have fun with everyone, trying to be social, and trying to interject their thoughts and ideas, just like the adults are as the conversation travels around the table.  

So next time you see a baby playing peek-a-boo at the table, they might be watching you and learning how to be social. They might be saying, hey, you guys look like you’re having fun, I have a thought you guys might like too, wanna hear it, here it is, peek-a-boo!! What do you think, yay, socializing is fun!! 

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