When do babies start talking?
The world of babies is full of wonder and excitement. So much so that most parents don’t even bat an eyelid at it. But if you happen to be one of the handful of people who didn’t know that new research suggests that your baby could already be talking by the time they’re six months old, then rest assured; this is nothing but a hoax. However, new research does suggest that those first words might not come until later than you would have hoped for. But before we delve in further, here’s what you need to know about when your baby will start talking.
Infants communicate before they speak by turning their heads, cooing, and smiling. By responding to these nonverbal cues, those around them are able to communicate as well. Parents can support their baby's speech by acknowledging their communication. Babies will 'say' everything before they learn to speak. This is known as undifferentiated babbling.
Around 6 months, babies will begin to make sounds that reflect only the sounds they are hearing around them. This implies that their babbling is now limited to their native language sounds. Babbling that evolves toward words is thus more conversational. Between six and nine months, babies begin to recognize their own name. However, they don't know how to say it until between 18 and 24 months.
Around nine months, your child will let you know that they have understood what you have said by crawling. Prior to age one, babies will often use non-verbal communication such as waving, but they will not always do so on command. Pointing, for example, may be accompanied by a grunt or baby babble, which parents will begin to recognize as a vocal tone. Gestures like pointing that end in a grunt might indicate ‘what is that?’ Babies use pointing as a form of non-verbal communication to show things that they recognize.
Around the end of your child's first year, you should expect to hear his or her first word. The first word is usually a noun such as 'mama' or 'dada,' 'ball,' or 'dog.' Ds and Bs are the easiest consonant sounds for babies to make, so “dada” is often the first thing that sounds like a word.