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Say Mama: When Do Babies Start Talking and How to Help Them

There are many milestones in your baby’s life that you do not want to miss. These moments are so adorable and memorable for me and I’m sure for you as well. Their first smile, when they take their first step, laughing for the first time. And, of course, you wouldn’t want to be absent when they utter their first words. As a new mother, you have probably wished your sweet baby could already speak so that he/she could tell you what they need before start crying. When you tried everything to make them comfortable but still couldn’t make them stop yelling. Here the most reasonable question arises, when do kids start talking finally?

When do babies say their first word?

Babies learn to talk at different rates and it’s pretty individual. So when do babies start talking? Usually, babies learn to speak within their first three years of life and can begin babbling words such as ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ as early as when they are only six months. Before your precious says the first ‘real’ words, ру will use baby talk, where they make sounds such as cooing and babbling. Baby talk starts soon after birth where it is nonverbal and involves them showing their emotions using their face and actions like grimacing, squirming or crying. However, there are various milestones in the development of speech which most babies undergo.

What are the language development milestones?

There are many critical milestones your baby will achieve as they grow. Talking is one such milestone meaning that it is critical in the healthy development of your kid. Here are the various stages of language development that will help you know what to expect the first year of your baby’s life and beyond.

3-months old

Your baby’s primary form of communication is crying. However, he listens and watches your face as you talk to him. He will also turn towards other sounds such as music and other people talking. At this stage, he will start cooing.

6-months old

This is when you might finally hear your baby’s first words. Your child will start using babble language by combining vowels and consonants and saying baby words such as da-da and ba-ba. It might melt your heart to hear him say mama but unfortunately, he doesn’t associate these words with you. And the baby talking is just a combination of random syllables without any real meaning. But it is progress. You wouldn’t want to miss that. By the end of the sixth month, your sweety might start responding to his name.

9-months old

If you are wondering when do babies say first word, then at about this period is when to expect it. Between 9 and 12 months your baby will start making sense when he babbles and makes other sounds. At this stage, he is trying to make sounds like the ones you use. Talk to him often to foster the learning process.

12 to 18 months old

Your baby is now using a few words and knows their meaning. They understand and sometimes obey some instructions such as when told ‘Don’t eat that.’ The toddler recognizes the importance of language when communicating.

18 months

At this toddler age, he understands more words than he can say. He can now point to people and objects upon request. Your baby is also picking a lot of the words you say, so you should be mindful of the language you use around him. He can even repeat words he hears from other kids talking. He can speak simple sentences when he wants something.

2 years old

Your toddler learns pronouns such as I, me, or you and also expands their vocabulary. He can form more complex sentences and can hold a conversation with you. He might struggle a bit at knowing the appropriate volume to use when talking.

3 years old

At age 3, your kid’s vocabulary has grown, and it becomes easier for other people to understand what he is saying. He can answer simple questions and form sentences of five or more words.

How do babies learn to talk?

As a new parent you might wonder, when do babies talk? How can you help a child learn to speak? Maybe that time when he cried after you fed him and you couldn’t tell what he needed, or that other time when he woke you in the middle night, and you were unable to calm him. The question when do children start talking is one of the most Googled ones by new mamas.
Babies learn to talk when their brains can associate objects with names. To be able to speak, your child’s tongue and lips must have the skill to form the shapes that form various sounds. Baby language starts when he can babble words by combining syllables as he experiments with noises. By nine months, your kid might not speak yet but they can use the rhythm as well as the tone of real speech when babbling.

How you can help your kid learn to speak

Every day as you talk to your child, you are teaching him new words and he repeats them trying to decipher what their meaning. There are several ways to teach your baby to speak. First, talking parents can be the best advantage. You might think your kid doesn’t get what you say, but he is picking words and as he grows will start to repeat what you tell him. Other ways to help your baby learn speech include:

  • Reading to him and telling stories
  • Singing some nursery rhymes
  • Playing on word names; such as listening and repeating the words he says to encourage conversation
  • Play games where you can each take turns such as peek-a-boo.

And don’t forget to praise their efforts at speaking.

When should you be concerned?

Is your 2 year old not talking? If you are having worries about your child having a speech delay, consult your healthcare provider. The earlier the problem is identified, the earlier treatment can commence. You should consult a physician if your baby:

  • Doesn’t make any noises or babble by the time he is 6 – 9 months old
  • Doesn’t seem to hear or respond to his name
  • Doesn’t use gestures by the time he is 12 months
  • Prefers gestures rather than vocalization at 18 months
  • Doesn’t follow simple instructions or say more than one-word sentences by the time he is two years old.

Final words
It is a magical moment when you hear your baby say their first words. So at what age do babies talk? The particular time the baby starts talking varies from one individual child to the other. Your baby should start talking any time between 6 months to 2 years. Delay in speech and language development can be an indication of other disorders such as developmental delay, a hearing impairment or an intellectual disability. So, be careful and healthy.

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