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Child Development Topics..

You are here : home > Child Development > Speech, Language, Hearing and Vision > The First Year

The First Year

Your baby's first words (Month-by-Month progress)

Your baby's first word is a major milestone in both your lives. The ability to speak opens the door on a whole new way of relating to the world for your baby. Suddenly, crying is not the only means of communication for her. You realize that soon the both of you will be speaking the same language. 

Even before your baby can speak, she learns a great deal about language. She is aware of the etiquette of a conversation, that people speak in turns. She is aware of the changes in intonation, sounds and rhythms. It is still not clear how speech develops in a child. What we do know, is that there is a rough schedule of speech development that most children follow.

Up to and around six weeks

At this stage, your baby will exhibit the most primitive form of speech - crying and gurgling. When you smile at her, your baby will respond by gurgling at you. Your conversations will be rudimentary and will involve your baby gurgling in response to your voice and then waiting for your reply. 

Three to four months

This is the magic moment when you hear your baby say "Maa" or "Paa" for the first time. It is thrilling to think that your baby is calling out to you, but in fact your baby does not understand the significance of what she has said. At this stage, the sounds she makes will be in the form of single syllables with an open vowel sound like "ma" or "pa", for instance.

Seven months

Your baby's cooing will progress to two-syllabled words, which are formed by repeating the first, syllable - "mama", for instance. She will also become more responsive to the sound of human voices and to music.

Eight months

Your baby will continue her babbling, but now she will shout to attract your attention. She will listen to your conversations with others avidly, turning her head from one person to the other. She will try to sing along when you play music or when you sing to her.

Nine months

Your baby will now be making sounds, technically known as "jargoning." She will start combining syllables and phrase them like sentences.

Ten to eleven months

Look out for your baby's first "real" word. It will probably relate to what is most important in her little world: mama, dada, dog, cat, bat, ball.

Her pronunciation seems so rudimentary

It is very likely that your baby will have difficulty pronouncing consonants until the age of four or five. She will have a tendency to drop the consonant from the beginning or the end of words, e.g. spoon becomes "poon", cat becomes "ca". Another method that children use to simplify speech is to repeat the consonant sound. That is why "doggy" becomes "doddy" or "goggy".

How do I know if there is a problem

There is no fixed deadline by which your child should be speaking. However, if your child has not started speaking by the time she is two and a half, you must seek expert help. Your child may have a hearing problem or a speech defect. Problems like these have a better chance of being treated if they are caught at the early stage. 

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Avanti Gala.5 years ago
good information!i appreciate this article.
Samiksha.5 years ago
This is a very good guide for my baby. I have gone through the article many times and i am prepared for everything.
Aanchal.5 years ago
The first year of a baby passes by very quickly. Your parameters for a year old baby are recommendable.
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