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When Can I Expect to Hear My Baby Talk?

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Updated June 27, 2014

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Question: When Can I Expect to Hear My Baby Talk?
I am so anxious to hear my baby talking. When can I expect her to share her first words with me? Could you please review some language development milestones for babies?
Answer:

Believe it or not, you'll notice your baby talking in his own way shortly after birth. Obviously, he won't be chiming in his first words right there and then, but he will offer you grimaces, smiles, and grunts that communicate with you. As the months pass by, you'll be going through critical stages in his language development. Here are some things you can expect in the first year.

Baby Talking at 3 Months

Lots happens with in the first 3 months of baby's development, and by the end of this period you'll likely be hearing your baby offer up his sing-songy coos as he interacts with you. Something that you'll likely notice is that he watches your mouth as you speak to him, and he turns his head to the sound of your voice.

Baby Talking at 6 Months

By 6 months that cooing has progressed to babbling as your baby combines a few basic consonant and vowel sounds. Strings of ba-ba-ba or da-da-da will bring a smile to your face. However, don't mistake that "da-da" cry as being a call out for good ole pop. Sounds at this age do not have meaning, they are simply sounds that your baby delights in making and in hearing.

Baby Talking at 9 Months

Your baby's development at 9 months will have his language progress to having him recognize a few basic words, such as "no," "more," and his name. You'll hear him using a larger range of consonant sounds, and he'll have developed a tone of voice. You should be able to judge his emotion based upon his inflection and tone.

Baby Talking at 1 Year

His development around the first birthday will showcase a few basic words, and he'll use them with meaning and purpose. You'll likely melt at the first heartfelt call of "mama" or "dada." Additionally, he'll be able to respond to simple one step directions.

Baby Language Development Concerns

So perhaps you read through that and panic at the realization that your baby is lagging a little behind. Before you worry about a possible language delay, stop and take a deep breath. Always keep in mind that there is a range in what is normal. Some babies will blossom early in language, others will be late bloomers. That can be fine and perfectly normal.

However, be sure to talk about your baby's language development with your pediatrician. Be forthcoming with any delays you think you may have noticed. Your pediatrician will take into consideration your baby's own unique development and may point you in the direction of possible speech and language evaluations if she thinks it may be necessary.

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