When does babbling turn into talking? With regard to babbling and communication, I can’t really tell you how long it’s going to take for your child to speak, as it’s different for every child. I’ve had children on my caseload who babbled for a few months and then start putting words together, and I’ve also had children who babble for a very long time before forming words.
If you are worried about “speech delay,” I encourage you to find a speech-language pathologist to schedule an evaluation.
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Babies Communicate with Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
Babies make sounds right from the time they are born – in fact, they announce their arrival with a loud cry!
During the first six months, babies learn to make other sounds besides crying, such as cooing and laughing. These early sounds are not made on purpose; they are a reflex that the baby doesn’t consciously control.
Then, between approximately five to 10 months of age, baby sounds start to change. They turn into syllables such as “ba ba” or “di di” that include a consonant and a vowel.
These types of babbled sounds are referred to as canonical babbling, which involves either strings of repeated syllables (e.g. “da, da, da”) or combinations of different syllables (e.g. “ma, di, da”).
Canonical babbling is a major milestone in a baby’s development of language because these types of syllables closely resemble those he will produce when he begins using words.
As babies continue to develop, their babbling begins to sound more and more like conversation. This is sometimes referred to as jargon, and this babble has a rhythm and tone which sounds a lot like adult speech.
After about a year of making various sounds and syllables, young children start to say their first words (ASHA.org). When babies are between 7 – 12 months, they will typically start talking.
Typical Speech and Language Development
This table presents typical milestones of when babies start talking clearly. If your child does not master these skills within 3 months of when they are supposed to, that is considered delayed.
(Information taken from ASHA.org)
|Time Frame||Speech Development|
|Birth – Three Months||Making cooing sounds|
Cries change depending on what he/she needs
Smiles at people intentionally
|4 – 6 months||Coos and babbles when playing alone or with you|
Makes speech babbling sounds like /pa/ and /ba/
Giggles and laughs
Makes sounds when happy or upset
|7 months – 1 year||Babbles longer strings of sounds like /mimimi/ or /babababa/|
Uses sounds and gestures to get and keep attention
Points to objects and shows them to others
Uses gestures like waving “bye,” reaching for “up,” shaking head no
Says one or two words like “dada,” “mama,” “uh-oh.”
This typically happens around 1 year of age
How to Help Your Baby Start Talking
- Check if your child can hear. See if she turns to noises or looks at you when you talk. Pay attention to ear problems and infections, and see your doctor.
- Respond to your child. Look at him when he makes noises. Talk to him. Imitate the sounds he makes.
- Laugh when she does. Imitate the faces she makes.
- Teach your baby to imitate actions, like peek-a-boo, clapping, blowing kisses, and waving bye-bye. This teaches him how to take turns. We take turns when we talk.
- Talk about what you do during the day. Say things like “Mommy is washing your hair”; “You are eating peas”; and “Oh, these peas are good!”
- Talk about where you go, what you do there, and who and what you see. Say things like, “We are going to Grandma’s house. Grandma has a dog. You can pet the dog.”
- Teach animal sounds, like “A cow says ‘moo’.” Download Speech Blubs for more Early Sounds to practice at home!
- Read to your child every day.
- Talk to your child in the language you are most comfortable using.
Here you can find 21 Fun Kids Activities to Encourage Speech and Language Development in Children under One. Through games and playing with your little one, you can boost their speech and language development and meet baby language milestones!
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