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One of the most exciting moments for all parents is when they hear their baby’s first words after months of cooing, babbling and intense attempts to talk.

With the enthusiasm surrounding hearing your baby talk for the first time,  new parents will begin to wonder about the age at which they will hear their baby's first actual words since they first started hearing the incomprehensible babbling sounds known as baby talk.

When do babies start talking?

The exact age for a baby's first words is different from one baby to another. However, you can help your baby talk faster by encouraging, interacting and talking to them. But do you know how to talk to your baby? And whether your baby is developing their language skills at a normal pace or they need some extra help? This article will answer these questions and give an idea about the milestones that can help you keep watch of your baby’s speech development and know when you need to get in touch with your paediatrician. 

Baby talk milestones:

3-month old babies: 

Usually, babies begin to show signs of interaction with their parents by the age of 3 months.

These signs include: 

  • Smiling at the sight of their parents
  • Cooing 
  • Paying attention when they’re being talked to by quieting or smiling 
  • Making a different crying sound for every need they have
  • Showing that they recognize the voice of their parents


6-month old babies: 

Between the age of 3 and 6 months, babies start babbling by making different sounds without knowing what they’re saying even if it seems like they’re trying speak.

By the age of 6 months your baby can:

  • Babble back when talked to 
  • Make gurgling sounds 
  • Use their voice to express feelings
  • Recognize the changes in the tone of your voice and show a response
  • Pay attention to music

What can you do to help your baby talk during the first six months? 

To help your baby talk you can talk to him\her from a close distance while you're holding close. Singing to your baby is also very helpful and would make a difference in their spoken skills development as this would help them get in the rune of their native language. Talking in a sing-song tone would keep the attention of your baby and repeating the sounds they make after them would be very useful at this age. 


12-month old babies

By the time your baby is 1 year old they are probably:

  • Imitating speech sounds
  • Saying some simple words to refer to someone or something
  • Understanding your basic instructions and one-word verbs
  • Recognize the names of some common objects 


18-month old babies

After months of practising and learning with your help and encouragement, your 18-month old baby can now communicate much more with you and people around them.

By this age babies can: 

  • Understand what you ask them to do with the aid of gesturing 
  • Point to people and things like objects or body parts when named.
  • Have a vocabulary of up to 10 different words


24-month old babies:

By the time you celebrate your baby’s second birthday they would have developed their spoken skills.

At this stage your baby should be able to: 

  • Say simple phrases of 2 words
  • Ask questions of one or two words
  • Have a vocabulary of about 50 words
  • Be understood by their parents or other people who are close to them.

how to help your baby with their speech?

You can help your child develop their speech skills by doing the following2:

  • Talk to your baby while you go through activities 
  • Repeat words and names of objects to get the word to stick with your child
  • Talk to your toddler with simple sentences and short instructions 
  • Don’t expose your child to a TV for a long time
  • Read to your child. Bedtime stories are a good way to help your baby’s speech development 

When should you consult a doctor?

  • Your baby hasn’t started babbling until after the age of one year
  • Your baby didn't say their first words before the age of 18 months
  • Your baby doesn't respond well to simple instructions

As the excitement builds to hear your baby's first words, remember that there is no exact time for when your child will start talking and it is necessary that you give the child the time they need to start talking at their own pace.




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