Mother and Baby

When do babies start talking? An age-by-age guide

The months are passing by and you're beginning to wonder when your precious little one is going to start blabbering away, but also, how you can get them to talk too. 

Here is everything you need to know about the different stages of baby talk, what to expect, and what to do when you see the signs of speech delay. 

When do babies start talking? 

In the first month or two, you will notice them making little sounds.

First, it will be crying, then the 'oohing' and 'ahhing', and finally, the babbling. 

Soon, these sounds will turn into real words, where mama and dad might slip out when you're least expecting it around the six-month milestone

Once they've said one or two, they will begin to pick up more words from you and everyone else around you. 

What to expect from 0-6 months: 

Crying is your baby's first kind of communication they can do. They will begin to recognise words and the sounds of your voice which will result in them 'babbling' which could be 'mama' or 'dada'. 

If you're in the early stage of them just beginning to vocalise, the NHS advises these techniques on how to get them to talk at this stage:

  • Talk in a sing-song voice
  • Hold your baby close and look at them 
  • Chat about what you are doing
  • Sing
  • Repeat the sounds your baby makes back to them

What to expect from 6-12 months:

At this point, your baby is experimenting with their sounds and noises. To ensure their babbling continues, it's recommended to talk and read to them. 

From 6 to 12 months, your little one will begin to pick up on your words and expressions. To keep this going, the NHS also advises to do the following:

  • Name and point out things you can both see, for example: "Look, a cat".
  • Start looking at books with your baby. You don't have to read the words on the page, just talk about what you can see.
  • Only offer a dummy when it's time for sleep. It's hard to learn to talk with a dummy in your mouth. 
  • Play "peek-a-boo" and "round and round the garden".

Signs of speech delay

Believe it or not, but you're the expert when it comes to judging your youngster's speech patterns, and you'll know if there's something wrong. 

But, if your baby isn't attempting to make any sounds, eye contact, or babbling between 6 and 9 months, it's advised to bring it up with a doctor. It could be that they have a speech delay or a hearing problem. 

Stuttering

If you've noticed that your child is stuttering, there is no need to worry,  as this is completely normal while their speaking is quickly developing.

However, keep an eye on it. If it continues until they reach 4-years-old, or if you can see them tensing their jaw, talk to their doctor about it. 

What did you like to do while getting your little one to talk? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Now read:

5 clever ways to teach your baby to talk

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When can babies sit up?

 

While training as a journalist at the University of Gloucestershire for 3 years, she was nominated for the Best Feature Category at the Midlands Student’s Media Awards this year, and Head of News and Social Media for the university’s radio station, Tone Radio. Ellie has been published by the likes of Heatworld, Heart, Gloucestershire Live, and ITV West Country. 

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