Your 6-month-old is babbling up a storm.
You think: She's trying to tell me something.
What's actually going on: Babbling is just that: babble. "Babies play with their vocal cords like they play with their fingers and toes," says Dr. Acredolo.
There are two areas of the brain that control language, one primitive and one more mature. "At this age, the primitive skills are in full swing as your baby begins to make a range of sounds and try out a variety of intonations that mimic adult conversation," explains Dr. Brown. When she's closer to a year, her mature language skills will kick in and she'll be able to associate words with objects. And even though her early chatter isn't code for "Give me more milk," it's still an important part of language development. "Answer your baby's babble, and encourage her to keep making sounds," says Dr. Brown. "You're laying the groundwork for healthy verbal give-and-take as your child gets older."