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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