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When do Babies Begin to Talk

It is usually after the initial newborn stage has settled down that parents start to wonder when their baby will begin to talk. This usually occurs not only because parents want to ensure their child is developing at a normal pace, but also because talking helps parents better understand their baby’s needs. You might be surprised to know that by this time your baby is already learning how to talk. Let’s take a look at the common pattern of speech development.

Newborn to 3 months
At this stage babies communicate by crying. You may have already noticed that they have different types of cries depending on what they want. A loud piercing cry may signal that it is time for a feed, while a whimpering cry may tell you it is time for bed. In this stage your baby is listening all the time, which encourages the baby to try and copy the sounds. You may also notice that your baby begins to make some basic sounds, such as babbling or cooing, at this time.

4-6 months
Babbling continues at this stage and your baby may mix consonants and vowels to make simple nonsense words. It is usually at this time they start to say mama and dada, but these words do not have any meaning yet! You may notice your baby repeating sounds at this stage, which usually happens because they like the way it sounds or how their mouth feels when they say it!

7-9 months
Most babies can now recognize a few words that you will say at this stage. These are likely to be words that are used often, such as no, more and their name. At this stage babbling continues and the baby is able to produce more consonant sounds. Tones and patterns to speech also occur around this time and you may be able to judge their mood based on this.

10-12 months
This is the age where the first simple words are usually spoken. Dada and mama usually have meaning at this age and your baby may start to call out to you.

13-18 months
Your baby is now recognizing that words can be used to communicate needs. A baby may begin to raise their tone with words such as more? and up? to ask a question. Most children are able to use a small set of words at this time and understand their meanings.

19-24 months
Your baby may be able to speak about 70 words by now and understand many more. By 20 months they are able to acquire about 10 new words per day. 2 word and eventually 3 word sentences are also common during this stage. Most babies will still talk in the first person eg. “baby run” instead of “I run.”

Did you know?
Many experts believe that the understanding of language begins when the baby is still in the womb. Research has shown that a baby can hear voices in the womb and only days after birth can recognize mum’s voice.

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