Baby talk: making sense of it all

Baby talk: making sense of it all

Even before her first word, your baby will communicate with grunts, gestures and cries. Read on to find out what it all means.

Even as an infant, your new baby’s sounds can tell you a lot about what’s going on in his world. Wondering what "goo" and “gaa" mean? This stage-by-stage guide to baby talk should help clear up confusion.

1 month
After spending approximately nine months in a calm environment, your new baby is probably startled by all the new noises and sensations. His crying, quick movements and sighs can all mean that he’s experiencing something new. They can also help you better understand when he is hungry or tired.

4 months
At this age, your baby may begin imitating the noises he’s been hearing since birth. Listen for your baby to drop and raise the pitch of his voice when babbling, a sure sign that he is copying the inflection in your voice. Encourage this by talking slowly and carefully to him as much as possible.

6 to 8 months
Your child may begin to crawl at this age. You might notice him pointing at his toys while simultaneously babbling, a prime example of early communication. Some babies speak their first words at this stage, often “mama” or “dada”.

12 to 18 months
Your baby will probably pick up a few more words over the next months. He may also start mimicking conversation by babbling with pauses and “responding” to questions. Although his vocabulary is still limited at this age, he understands a lot of what you say. Keep chatting to boost his language development.

18 to 24 months
Now that your child has mastered a good number of words, he’ll start stringing them together to create simple sentences. As he progresses, you’ll find that it becomes easier to communicate, which will be a welcome milestone for both of you.

Individual milestones
As with all baby milestones, children develop language skills at their own pace. Your new baby is unique and may require more or less time than others to begin making sounds and gestures. Before you know it, your child will hit the chatty preschool stage, and peace and quiet will be a thing of the past!

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Milestones

2/9/2016

Does learning multiple languages slow speech at 17 months?

What a talker

Jessie 1/20/2016

My baby girl loves to talk. Especially when others are talking and she so loud that she drowns out our voices.

4 mos and growing up fast

Joann 1/3/2016

DD started cooing and 'talking' a couple of days ago. It is fascinating to watch her try to imitate both with facial gestures and vocal. She is already trying to roll, stand, and move. She sees her older sis having fun and wants to join in.

talks a lot

12/30/2015

she is 12 month and says three words mama dada and wawa I think she is right on track

Helpful

Liza 12/27/2015

Great article. I did not realize language development started so early.

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