Before toddlers begin to speak in a true language, such as English or Spanish, they babble and coo, experimenting with sound. That's baby talk, and baby talk sounds the same all across the world.
But when will you hear your kid say his or her first words? Critical developmental milestones for a baby learning to speak occur throughout the first three years of life, when the infant's brain is quickly developing. During this period, your baby's speech development is dependent on both your and your infant's "baby talk" skills.
When Can You Expect to Hear Your Baby Talk?
The initial "baby talk" is nonverbal and occurs shortly after delivery. From fear and hunger to irritation and sensory overload, your baby grimaces, screams, and squirms to convey a wide variety of emotions and physical demands. A good parent learns to listen to and interpret their baby's various screams.
When your baby will utter those wonderful first words varies considerably from one baby to the next. However, if your infant fails to meet any of the following speech development milestones, speak with your pediatrician or family doctor about your concerns.
1. Baby Talk Milestones
a. Three-month-old baby talk
At 3 months, your baby is listening to your voice, watching your face as you speak, and turning toward other voices, sounds, and music heard around the house. Many newborns prefer the voice of a woman over that of a man. Many people prefer voices and music they heard when still in the womb. By three months, newborns start "cooing," which is a joyful, calm, rhythmic, sing-song vocalization.
b. Six-month-old baby talk
Your kid will start babbling with varied sounds when he or she is 6 months old. Your baby, for example, may say "ba-ba" or "da-da." Babies react to their names by the end of the sixth or seventh month, identify their original language, and utilize tone of voice to indicate whether they are pleased or angry. Some parents mistake a series of "da-da" babbles for their baby's first words, "daddy!" However, babbling at this age is often made up of random syllables with no actual meaning or knowledge.
c. 9-month-old baby talk
Babies can comprehend a few simple words after 9 months, such as "no" and "bye-bye." They may also begin to employ a broader range of consonant sounds and voice tones.
2. Baby talk between the ages of 12 and 18 months.
By the end of the first year, most babies can utter a few simple words like "mama" and "dadda" and understand what they're saying. They respond to – or at the very least comprehend, if not follow – your brief, one-step instructions like, "Please put it down."
a. 18-month-old baby talk
At this age, babies can pronounce a few rudimentary phrases and point to people, things, and body parts that you name for them. They repeat words or noises they hear you say, such as the final syllable of a sentence.
However, they frequently leave out word ends or starts. They may, for example, say "daw" for "dog" or "noo- noo's" for "noodles."
b. Two-year-old baby talk
By the age of two, babies can form brief sentences of two to four syllables, such as "Mommy bye-bye" or "me milk." They're learning that words may refer to more than just objects like "cup"; they can also refer to abstract notions like "my."
c. Three-year-old baby talk
By the age of three, your baby's vocabulary is quickly expanding, and "make-believe" play promotes comprehension of symbolic and abstract words like "now," sentiments like "sad," and spatial ideas like "in."
Can You Teach Babies to Talk?
Babies comprehend what you're saying long before they can express themselves clearly. Even though they comprehend 25 or more words, many newborns who are starting to communicate utilize just one or two words at first.
You may assist your kid in learning to speak if you:
1. Watch them raise arms
Your infant may raise both arms to indicate that they want to be picked up, offer you a toy to indicate that they want to play, or push food off their plate to indicate that they've had enough. Encourage these early, nonverbal attempts at a baby talk by smiling, making eye contact, and responding.
2. Listen to baby talk
Pay close attention to your baby talk that includes babbling and rambling, and ramble and babble the same noises back to him or her. Babies strive to copy their parents' sounds and alter pitch and tone to fit the language they hear around them. So be patient and provide plenty of time for your baby to "speak" to you.
3. Praise in order to make baby talk
Smile and appreciate even the most inept or perplexing efforts at baby talk. The emotions of people around them teach babies the power of communication.
4. Imitate in order to allow baby talk
Babies like hearing their parents' voices. When parents converse with their children, it helps them develop their speech. The more you talk to them in "baby talk," using short, basic but proper phrases like "dog" when your baby says "daw," the more babies will try to communicate.
5. Elaborate or show gestures to make them talk
Don't just offer your kid more noodles if he or she gestures to the table and makes a fuss. Point at the noodles instead and say, "Would you like some more noodles? Don't these noodles go well with cheese?" This helps baby talk.
6. Narrate stories to make them talk
As you bathe, dress, feed, and change your child, talk about what you're doing — "Let's put on these blue socks now" or "I'm chopping up your chicken for you" — so your baby links your speech to these items and experiences. This helps baby talk.
7. Keep trying unless they talk
Continue to attempt even if you don't comprehend what your infant is saying. Gently repeat what you believe is being stated and ask whether you are correct. Continue to shower your infant with affection so that he or she feels rewarded for attempting to communicate and develop his or her baby talk.
Encourage your baby's first words by cooing, babbling, chatting, and singing frequently. Continue to reply favorably and demonstrate that you care. When it comes to baby talk, that's the finest basis.
All the best!