Parents of new born babies often ask 'When will my baby start talking' or want to know at what age do babies start talking. First words of a baby are special and are unforgettable memories for parents. Read about when do babies generally start talking and by what age do babies start talking in sentences.
Parents of new born babies are always excited about so many things. They are curious about so many issues related to their baby. One important issue most new parents often have on their mind is 'When will my baby start talking?'
A baby's receptive language develops first before his expressive language. This means, whatever words you are talking to your baby, he is absorbing it first. Whatever you are speaking to him is going into his vocabulary. Receptive language or what your baby understands develops first before expressive language which is what he expresses to you.
Babies up to Three Months
One of the first ways by which babies communicate with their parents is by crying. Crying may not seem like language development, but it is through crying that your baby is trying to tell you something. Sometimes you may notice that your child has a different type of cry for communicating different things.
4 to 6 months
At this stage, babies may start what is known as babbling. They might make sounds using vowels. Sounds like 'Ooh' and 'Aah'. Soon, you might start hearing them combine vowels and consonants to say sounds like 'Da-Da' and 'Ba-Ba.' At this age, babies may respond to you by smiling and cooing. This is their way of communicating to you.
7 to 12 months
Your baby's receptive language will really start to increase by now. He will be able to understand simple directions like no-no. Many parents like their baby to say bye-bye or blow flying kisses. Your baby will be able to blow kisses and say bye-bye at this age. If you observe your baby carefully, you will see that he tries to imitate your sounds and gestures. This time is exciting for parents because at this age children are expected to say their first words soon.
Baby's first words
Babies will most likely say their first words sometime between the ages of 11 to 14 months. By the time they are around 18 months, you can expect them to start saying up to twenty words.
By the age of four your child will be chattering away and telling you all sorts of things. It will be fun to hear how he played with the dog to how he won that race with his friend. You would have been waiting eagerly all this time for your child to talk. This age is really a lot of fun. Children say all kinds of funny things.
However, not all babies grow at the same pace. If you ask a group of mothers of babies about when their baby started talking, you would probably get a different set of answers from them. Even babies from the same family need not necessarily start talking at the same age.
How Parents can help to make their Babies talk
Keep talking to your baby all through the day. For example if you are putting his shoes say "Mummy is putting your shoes". If you are putting your baby on the pram, say "Ok, so now Mummy is putting you on your pram." In this way you are helping him to expand his vocabulary and learn new words.
Imitate your baby when he makes those baby noises. If he says 'Ooh' and 'Aah' imitate him. Imitate the little one and encourage him to imitate you. Try to smile when he smiles and laugh when he laughs.
Read out to your baby from first word books. These books are a great way to teach your baby new words. He might not be able to say the words immediately. Initially, he may be able to point out the words in the book before being able to say them.
When to be concerned?
Remember, that at times even the most gifted kids start talking late. The development of your baby's learning and speech skills are affected by their health state, nutrition and even emotional factors. Even social and emotional environment plays an important role in the growth and development of babies.
Babies generally begin babbling by the time they turn one. If your baby is not babbling even by the time of first birthday, you should see a doctor.
See how your baby is responding to sounds. If he does not respond at the sound of his name being called, or if he does not turn his head when there is a loud sound or if you are having certain doubts about something not being okay talk to your doctor.
If your baby is not saying anything by the time of 16 months, you can discuss it with the doctor. However, even some perfectly hale and hearty babies do not start talking till the time of two years.
Still, if you have some concerns about your child's speech and language development, you should definitely discuss it with your doctor.
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- The Indiaparenting Team