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When Should A Baby Start Talking?

Watching For Baby’s First Word


It’s no secret that a baby’s first word is a monumental event. What isn’t so widely known is that your child’s ability to talk doesn’t start with the first recognizable word she utters; rather, learning language begins from the very moment she’s born. First, your baby begins mastering language by learning to distinguish various sounds (such as your voice) as early as the first week of life. Other important steps towards that ever-important first word include:

  • Cooing (2 months)
  • Focusing on person speaking (3 months)
  • Babble speak “conversation” (4-6 months)

While many parents find these cooing and babbling engagements with their baby adorable, it’s important to note that these are also significant milestones in every baby’s language development. Recent studies have proven that the first months and years leading up to your baby’s first word are vital cornerstones in his language capabilities in later years. In short, it’s never too soon to start helping your child learn to communicate.

two toddlers playing together while their moms watch

Helping Your Child’s Speech: How To Talk To A Baby

Ready to help your baby build a solid speech foundation that will last a lifetime? Use these tips and suggestions to help you learn how to talk to a baby and get her interested in the sounds all around her:

Talk to your baby: The first rule of thumb when helping your baby move towards a first word is to talk to him...a lot. Even during phases when your child isn’t saying much, it’s important to remember that he can understand the words he’s hearing. Tell your baby about what you’re doing, what you have planned, etc. to help get them used to different words and sounds.

Use books and music: Children love being read to, at any age. Beginning a reading routine with your baby is a great way to help them develop a love for words. Additionally, music can help extend language recognition and understanding. Sing-song nursery rhymes and other age-appropriate CDs with easy-to-distinguish words can help put your baby on the fast track to language mastery.

Listen: Of course, conversation is a two-way street; listening to your child’s attempts at language can help her build conversational confidence. Looking for other tell-tale signs of communication, such as facial expressions and body language, can help give you the cues you need to respond accordingly to your child’s words.

Spoken Moments And Milestones Beyond The First Word

As with any developmental milestone, each child’s language skills will progress at his own personal pace. Some common language milestones include:

  • At age 1, your child will have language understanding and possibly have one or two distinguishable words of his own
  • At 15 months, toddlers use up to 10 words and are able to comprehend some simple commands from parents
  • At age 18 months, your child will recognize the names of those closest to her and will be able to follow more complicated instructions
  • At age 24 months, toddlers will have up to 100 words; he’ll also begin demonstrating the ability to create his own simple sentences

Finally, by the time your child hits the three year milestones, she will have roughly 300 words that she uses regularly and will even be able to conduct conversations with those around her.

Crib to Toddler Bed 4

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