Talking is one of the most awaited milestones in a baby’s life. Parents can’t wait to hear their little one say ma-ma and da-da. Curious to know about your baby’s speech development. Here’s our little guide to help you understand the timeline and the steps to your little one’s language development.
At what age do babies start talking?
Well, there is no definite answer to this one. Different children develop different skills at their own pace. Nevertheless, most kids start to babble sounds like ma-ma, pa-pi, and a-ki around 6 months and start with proper words around one year.
Here is a general timeline of speech development that takes place in the first two years of your baby’s life.
At 6 months: Babies start making random noises, and babbling words which sometimes make sense, sometimes don’t. They will also get vocal to get your attention and respond when you talk to them.
At 12 months: The babble will start to make sense as she will speak more clearly and also try to use the correct tone to match yours. At this point, most babies start to respond to your baby talks.
At 18 months: Your baby will not only start to use more words but will slowly start to understand them too. Some kids will start to form small 2-3 word sentences by 18-20 months.
At 24 months: Your kid will start to communicate their basic needs, like asking for water, telling when they’re hungry or sleepy. They might not really know how to frame grammatically correct sentences and will come up with some funny ones.
Between the ages of 2 and 3, their vocabulary starts to expand and they will pick up words that you use frequently. So yes, watch your language and make sure you only use words you would want your baby to learn!!
How you can help?
Your baby learns to talk by listening to the people around them. Subconsciously they start registering the talking around them as they grow.
Here are some ways you can help your baby develop her speech.
Talk to your baby: Talking to your baby is the best way to encourage them to start talking. Tell them what you’re doing, where you’re going and chat about all the things you notice about them, they will be listening and taking it all in subconsciously.
Listen up: When your child talks to you, be a good listener, look at her, and be responsive. She is more likely to speak up when she knows you’re interested in what she’s saying.
Read her some bedtime stories: When your child listens to new words, sounds, and sentences, it increases her vocabulary.
Elaborate her words: If your child points at an apple and says appy, don’t just give it to her. Instead say something like, “ Oh, you want an apple. Apples are very juicy, aren’t they?” This will help them further improve their pronunciation.
Your child will constantly learn more words, understand more and yes, be prepared to answer all the questions your little one has in store for you.
When should I be concerned?
If your child isn’t making any vocal sounds like oh, ah or blah by the time she’s 7-8 months old, you should talk with her doctor.
If your child isn’t saying any words at all by age 15 months, it’s time you involve her pediatrician.
If she tenses her jaw or grimaces while trying to speak, discuss this with her pediatrician about the same.
It’s always best to detect a problem as early as possible, for better treatment options. If you see any of these red flags or feel something could be off with the hearing or speech development, do speak to your doctor.