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.
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.
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.
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.