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When do babies start talking?

Up till now, your little one has communicated with you by crying. It’s not been easy, but you’ve got around it in your own way. Now, it’s time for your baby to start expanding their language and communicating with you using words that are a little easier to understand! But when do babies start talking and when can you expect the ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ competition to begin?

It’s the same as anything when your baby develops – they don’t just go straight to walking, they have to crawl first. This also applies to talking. You can’t expect your baby to wake up one day and be able to pronounce words perfectly – they will start with something called babbling. Babbling is their way of working out how to pronounce new words, but it may be a little difficult at first!

Keep reading our blog to find out when the majority of babies start talking and how you can help them to improve their language development over time.

What will happen before my baby starts talking?

Before your baby starts pronouncing actual words, they will do something called babbling. This is essentially your baby’s own language that only they can really understand. However, you will learn of what they’re saying by listening to their tone as well as their physical actions when babbling. Their chattering will also give you an insight into how they are doing with their cognitive development. You will notice this getting better if they memorise words and sounds and take time to think about what they want to say. 

Your baby will learn lots off of you so will copy your tone and body language when they begin to babble and speak. This is why as your baby gets older, you should be slightly wary about the type of language you use in front of them – they could just start copying you!

When will I know that my baby’s language is developing?

At 2 to 3 months, it’s normal for your baby to start making the common noises such as coos and goos. These will be hard to understand but may be easier than just communicating through tears. At around 3 months old, this is when your little one will begin babbling. 

At this stage, you will most likely hear your baby using a lot of noises beginning with ‘p’,’b’ and ‘m’. This is because they’re the easiest noises to pronounce for your little one. You could argue that that’s why a lot of babies can say “mama” first instead of “dada” (sorry dads!). 

Once the babbling begins, your little one will slowly learn how to pronounce words more easily and clearer. It won’t be long until they just won’t stop talking!

How can I help my baby learn to speak?

If you want to help your little one along or find that they’re struggling a little bit, there are some things you can do to help develop their speech and language…

  • Talk to your baby by just having a general conversation with them. You might not think you’re helping by doing this but just by them listening to you, it can help them develop.
  • Give your little one time to process what you’re saying. You can do this by pausing after you speak to give them a chance to understand.
  • Try to use different language and tones when you speak. This can help them expand their knowledge of language and they will copy you in the long run.
  • When your baby babbles to you, explain it back to them. For example, if your baby asks for their bottle in babble language, respond back with something along the lines of “oh, are you looking for your bottle?”. This will help them to use different words.

By doing these things, you’ll help your little one expands their language and start using proper words in no time. One thing that you should avoid doing is using their babble language towards them. Try to not associate items with babble words that they use. Instead, use proper words as this will help them identify what they mean.

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