Birth to One (0-1 Yrs)

From birth, your pēpi is learning the basics of how to talk with you in Māori. As a parent, you are the most important person in pēpi's world and it is up to you to teach her all she needs to know to effectively communicate with your whanau and friends.



Te pakeke o tō tamaiti 

He aha āna pūkenga? 

 0-6 months

  • Within days, an awareness of sounds
  • Cooing, and sometimes growling and laughing (using his whole body)
  • Around 4 months, ‘converse without words' by cooing, and responding to your words

 6 months

  • Responds to his name
  • Responds to voices without visual cues by turning his head and eyes
  • Responds appropriately to friendly and angry tones

 10 months

  • Pēpi making sounds with at least one consonant and vowel eg ma or pa
  • Understands simple instructions, like kao (although may quickly forget, too).

 11 months

  • Linking two or more sounds together, like ma-pa-pa
  • Change in pitch when ‘talking'

 12 months

  • May say first word like "māmā" or "pāpā"
  • Use gestures and speech sounds to let you know what is wanted
  • Understands simple instructions, especially if  vocal or physical cues are given
  • Practices inflection
  • Is aware of the social value of speech

To kick-start that process, Kei Roto i Te Whare has a list of phrases to help you talk with your pēpi when doing different activities around the home.


Have a look at our own word list, too!