Friday, March 1, 2024

When Do Babies Say the First Words?

Parents are surely excited and waiting for the time when their babies will say the first word. But when do babies do that? Let us learn. 

Babies say their first words usually after a few months of verbal and vocalizing experiments. Firstly, the baby babbles, coos and growls and just say any combinations of consonants and vowels. Then one day you need to listen closely and you will hear their first real word. At first, your baby may say “mama” or “dada” but doesn’t necessarily understand the meaning. But later on, it will become words with meaning to them and it is a milestone for them.  

But when do babies exactly start talking? Let us discover.  

Babies actually start talking or at least start expressing themselves with words that have meaning between 9 to 14 months. Some babies don’t say a recognizable word until 18 months and that is perfectly normal. But some babies say word-sounds already as early as 7 months. 

Babies actually make many communicative noises and they aren’t true speech. Experiments show that babies already understand certain words as early as 6 months. In this time, almost all babies already start babbling sounds that seem they are talking. Some babies still haven’t spoken their first word even after their first birthday. But by 14 months, they may have a rapid increase in their speech and comprehension abilities. Your baby’s critical milestones for speech happens in the first three years in their lives. 

But when do we say that it is a baby’s first word and not just babbling? When babies start saying words, it would be far from perfect at first. Their words might sound like babbling although they intend to say the real words. They might want to say “bottle” but they can only say “baba”. It depends on the sound they make and if they have already understand what it means. 

To help parents observe and recognize when their babies talk, here are some stages and milestones in the babies speech development:

  • Baby talk at 3 months

In the first three months of the baby, he will listen to your voice and watch your face as you talk. He also observes the voices, sounds, and music around him.  In 3 months’ time, your baby might start cooing a gentle vocalization.

  • Baby talk at 6 months.

In 6 months, babies will start babbling different sounds. He may start saying “baba” or “dada”. By six to the seventh month, they may respond now to their own names. They also start to recognize the local language and they use the tone of voice to show happiness, sadness or other emotions. Some parents might think that saying “dada” on this stage will mean that it is their first word. But it could be just babbling and don’t really have any comprehension from your baby. 

  • Baby talk at 9 months 

After 9 months, babies can now recognize and understand simple and short words like “bye-bye” or “no”. They may also use a wider range of tones of voice and sounds. 

  • Baby talk at 12-18 months 

At this time, most babies say simple words like “mama” or “dada”. They can already understand and respond to simple words and requests. 

  • Baby talk at 18 months

At this age, babies can now say several words and can point people or objects when you name them. They can also repeat words they hear like the last word in your sentence.  

  • Baby talk at 2 years

By the age of 2,  babies can say a few phrases of two to four words. They can also learn abstract ideas like “mine”.  

  • Baby talk at 3 years 

By this time, your baby’s vocabulary will rapidly expand. They will understand feelings like “sad”, and spatial concepts like “in” or “out”. 

This list of milestones in the speech of your precious one is very amazing and heart-warming. Parents can’t help but get emotional when they see how their babies improve and develop each day and each milestone. As your babies continue to develop and learn his speech and comprehension abilities, the guidance and help from parents are very needed. By monitoring and always paying attention to your babies’ speech and growth, you are on your way to ensuring the best for your bundle of joy. 

However, always remember that every baby is different in the pace of their growth and learning so you can’t expect that your baby will do the same just because other babies are already doing it, and vice versa. Just take your time in discovering how your baby is going to unfold his abilities and grow. You will be amazed at how he will grow at his own pace and complete milestone every milestone. Every moment is a precious memory you will definitely look back after many years. So, enjoy the journey and little milestones now with your little one. Cherish every moment and listen carefully to every word, you will definitely hear the things you want to hear from your little one in no time.

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