The Emergence of the Pointy Finger

Over the past few weeks Lola’s vocabulary has continued to grow. But there has also been another change in the way she communicates with us. At 15 months, my baby became quite the pointer.

Throughout the day she will point to objects and look at me and point again. Occasionally a grunt or shrug will follow. And with that comes my attempt to play the guessing game.


If I got it right (and I’m pleased to say I usually do, we’re good). If not, the pointing continues until my hand lands upon the desired object and it makes its way to her small hands.


If Lola was a little older I would tell her to “use her words.” As I said, her vocabulary has grown but not enough to result in her swapping her hand gestures for the actual names of what she is referring to. Of course, she knows baby signs for milk and more and she has mastered the word “eat” to let us know she is hungry.  But she has not figured out how to tell me that she wants her binky, book, or my driver’s license (because I made the mistake of handing it to her so she would sit quietly at the doctor’s office). So for now, she points and I take my chances and see if I can figure out what it is she wants.

And so far, this works for us except for when I say no. Then the inner toddler emerges and the tears fall. She wants what she wants. As a little girl, I was taught not to point, and the day will come when I will likely teach Lola the same. But for now I’m okay with the continued emergence of that little pointy finger. It’s her way of communicating with me. She’s expressing her wants and needs and learning that, as her mother, I am here to meet those needs.

I may not always get it right the first time, but I will certainly try my best. Eventually gestures will be replaced with words and there will be less guessing and probably less pointing too.

How does your baby communicate with you?  Do you have a pointer also?

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