Pointing as a Form of Communication in Babies

Pointing is a universal action for babies, used as an elementary form of communication. Before they can speak, babies will often point to objects to alert adults of what they want. “Pointing is a means of making definite reference that is intimately linked to gesture and speech.” When adults speak back to a baby as they point to objects, it creates a link between the baby’s vision and hearing that becomes essential to language development and communication. “Pointing allows visual objects to take on auditory qualities, and this is the royal road to language.”