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talking babies

When Do Babies Start Talking Their First Words?

Babies are fascinating creatures that evolve quicker than the blink of an eye. Everyday is a new first that you will miss if you don’t pay close attention. A babies first words will sneak up on you just as quick as any other milestone. It beckons the question, when do babies start talking? The answer is not clear cut since it of course varies for every child. However, knowing approximately when a child begins to talk is one way to prevent from missing this epic milestone. Since learning to speak is a evolving process, it is arguable that a baby begins to talk even before we understand what they are saying.

Around 6 months for first words and 18 months to form short sentences

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The first six months

Listening and watching. At this age babies are trying to distinguish who is making what sounds. For example, a baby is learning to tell who is talking and who is barking. This is followed by learning what lip movements create certain sounds. They will start to recognize basic single syllable words like “hi” and “bye”. The most outwardly dramatic stage in this learning process is when babies begin trying to make sounds with their own mouth. This gurgling is more than babble, it is in fact a babies practice to form words.

The next 6 months to a year

entails more listening added with more practice. This is when a child starts to really recognize language and words. They are increasing their vocabulary steadily at this time. It’s at this age that kids understand more words than they can actually say. At this stage of development you have to wonder if that incoherent babble is really incoherent babble. The mouth of the infant, fast becoming a toddler, has not physically developed the dexterity to utter words that they understand. Is this babble the first words that parents just can’t understand? It is debatable, but words that everyone understands are so quick to follow the babble the debate seems worthless.

Shortly after a child turns a year old

The question of babble or secret language takes a back seat to full sentences. Yes, there is often some questionable babble still mixed in with clearly formed words, but less and less. It becomes clear now that any leftover baby talk is an obvious secret language. This is the stage where you begin to reflect back to the sweet days when a single “baba” is all you would get. Now the questions start to kick in. Your little baby is now a big kid stringing together sentences like a professor. Mimicking has been replaced by full comprehension of the words being said and questions take the place of copying. From here on out the sky is the limit and full conversations will ensue.

It should go without saying that each child is unique and this loose timeline is just a rough guide. How quickly a child begins to speak can depend on several factors like social interaction. A child’s reluctance to speak is not necessarily an indicator of intelligence. Be flexible in your expectations for your child. Everyone’s learning curve is unique, thank goodness.

How many words is a 1 year old supposed to say?

By the age of one, your baby should understand a short list of simple words.  Things like mommy, daddy, no, yes, bye, etc.  Most babies should have around a 10 word vocabulary by the age of 18 months.

How Can I Teach My Baby To Talk?

There are a number of ways but just engaging with our child vocally goes a log way.  How do you do that?  Here is a list of ways:

  • tell your favorite stories.
  • talk and read to them as often as possible.
  • sing to your child.
  • elaborate on anything that your baby seems interested it.

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