baby development

Baby milestone: When will they wave and clap?

At what age do babies learn to wave and clap? We take a look

When will my baby wave and clap?

Developmental milestones: Understanding when babies start to wave and clap

Waving and clapping 474

When your baby first waves and claps at you it’s a huge milestone as it’s a significant way for your baby to interact with you. So when can you expect this?

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When will my baby clap?

Quite often once your baby is able to sit up on their own around 6 months they can start to show signs of mastering other little milestones. Some babies will start putting their hands together and start the early stages of clapping around now. But quite often it can be later babies start to master this around 8 or 9 months old.

How can I encourage my baby to clap?

Your baby will start to be trying to copy you so if you clap your hands together they will gradually start to copy and bring their own hands together. Also try holding your baby’s hands together and saying “clap, clap, clap”. Lots of smiles and positive praise will help this along. Nursery rhymes such as ‘Pat a cake’ and “clap, clap, clap hands” with the clapping action will all help to encourage this next stage.

Pat a cake
Pat a cake, Pat a cake, baker's man
Bake me a cake as fast as you can; 
Pat it and prick it and mark it with a 'B', 
And put it in the oven for Baby and me.

When will my baby wave?

When your baby waves for the first time it’s another really special moment and rewarding for you and this new attempt to communicate is cause for celebration. They often start to mimic waving around the age of nine months old but some babies may show early signs of waving around 7 or 8 months.

How can I encourage my baby to wave?

Simply show them how it’s done. Repetition of waving and smiling at your little one will encourage them to try it themselves. Move baby’s hands for them while saying “wave bye to-bye to grandpa” will also help teach them to wave. Giving them huge praise when they attempt waving will also encourage many more attempts.

Clap, clap hands - 1-2-3
Clap, clap hands – clap with me
Clap, clap hands - 1-2-3
Clap, clap hands – you can clap with me!

What if my baby doesn’t wave or clap?

At the age of around 9 months, if your baby doesn’t wave or clap this is not a sign anything is wrong. If by a year old there are more than one milestones you feel concerned your baby hasn’t reached when expected, make an appointment to have a chat with your healthcare professional to set your mind at rest.

Baby milestone: When will they wave and clap?