When Does A Baby Start Talking?
We humans as social beings, are extremely reliant on communications to express our emotions, views, and requests explicitly to the other person in simple terms. When babies are born, they are not fully equipped to talk. The nature slowly prepares them for this important and coolest milestone (of talking) by helping them to howl, squeal, and babble at the top of their lungs. Scientific research has shown us that there is a reason behind it. It is described as the linguistic cross-training – a way to prepare the baby for the milestone they are going to achieve in a few months’ time.
Now that brings us to the question, to the source of this quest. At What age do babies start talking? After all, we parents cannot wait to see our babies start crawling, walking and talking! Further, delving into this discussion, it is in fact intriguing to know how communications begin at the initial stages. Perhaps it is an instinct driven potential within us humans progressing through stages of growth to acquire simple skills as learning few words and then moving on to learn complex phrases. The babies starting conversation (such as giggling, crying), has been a prolonged discussion among many, especially young parents. After all, how often do we get to witness something of such profound prominence?
Not many parents consider crying as conversational. But it is the new-born’s way of telling us that it is hungry, tired, sick, cold, warm or needs a nappy change – basically anything it needs to bring to our attention. The crying immediately puts the mother into action to find the cause, while the baby itself gets benefitted by strengthening the nerves connecting to the brain that are used for speech. It also provides larynx, an organ responsible for sound production a good workout.
Research tells us that the average age at which babies utter their first word would be somewhere between 10 months to one year. They’re able to speak two-word sentences by year 2. But the fact is, not all babies are the same and they may or may not hit the milestones at the said period. A child who seems behind may suddenly decide to take a giant leap and get ahead of his peers while some take a steady progress to reach the goal. A few other children may start talking really early, and kind of get stuck with a couple of words for a few months before they start to learn a few more again. The pattern is never the same. So an honest advice to all anxious mummies out there is to stop comparing and panicking. Encourage your child to talk and respond to their talk as well. Like any other milestone your baby is set to achieve, this will also happen when she is ready.
Toddlers often begin to acquire fairly comprehensible linguistic abilities around the age of 18 months to 2 years. This is often recognized as the crucial stage for not just allowing development of expressive form of communication but also, the suitable time for long term speaking skills. The tender minds of the young often learn communication in the form of imitation. With this mode of learning it is crucial for parents to be careful while conversing in front of their children – most importantly, language skills.
Along with the paramount task of raising a young toddler, there are some bright sides too, such as witnessing their very first experience. The immense joy of being able to see their actions, which occur a handful of times in one’s life matters to most.
Now we will discuss the eight developmental stages of babies as they begin talking.
Stages of Linguistic Development
STAGE 1 (0-3 Months)
This being the initial stage, there isn’t much to do, except to embrace the arrival of baby while she whines and her shrill unending cries. This is often the initial communication a baby makes as it slowly learns to adapt to a new environment having brought off the cocoon she remained curled while she developed. For the first time mothers this stage is often difficult as sometimes there are no obvious reasons for the babies crying and you will be left confused as to what to do. At this point it is important to soothe her. The sooner you can comfort her, the more confident she will be to tell her what she feels as she knows that you are listening to her.
STAGE 2 (4-6 Months)
As the baby grows, more developed form of emotions is witnessed which includes a random utterance of vowels or a cacophony babbling that makes no relevance. The baby is trying to figure out how to use lips and tongue for talking. Also at this stage, the baby learns to focus on the most frequently observed faces, and it often becomes a source of learning, usually the mother being the first recognizable character.
STAGE 3 (7-9 Months)
As the memory enhances, the baby begins fraternizing with more members under context of familiarity, her communication skills leans towards a more complex variety of vowels often, having observed the expressive calls from the people that pamper her. This duration is of utmost relevance because the baby ascends the learning stage quickly as she learns to imitate a conversationalist behaviour in a toddler dialect. She will also be relating words with objects. You need to hear the word and see what she is looking at before labelling any object. For example: “Bo-Bo” does not mean a ball if she is reaching out for her shoes. So be more observant. At this stage, talking and singing will be the best ways to assist her skills.
STAGE 4 (9-12 Months)
Getting out the right word is a huge task on its own which needs a lot of practice. You may find your baby repeating the same word a hundred times or may be same word differently and giggling at her own achievements. They may also combine two similar sounding words or may be break up a complex word into two of her own simple words which is totally senseless to us. But the only way for them to experiment and learn to get to the real thing.
STAGE 5 (13-15 Months)
Finally, having completed the initial stages and proceeding to a more intermediate state, the baby speaks in more rhythmic attire while she ends her words. It is bound to say something that she is fascinated by or something that she can easily say. Often characterized as cute, by the adults, it is a meaningful tone of communication that the baby relies upon, to bond with the people. Hence she understands a friendly face from the rest and expects to be acknowledged in the similar tone of communication that instils trust and confidence within her. So it very important to cheer her for her speaking attempts and motivate her to learn more new words.
STAGE 6 (16-18 Months)
After the toddler has said her first word, the next task is to add up to her vocabulary. By 15 months, most kids are able to say 20-25 words. It is no brainer that by reading more books or talking to them more often will only boost their talking and learning skills. You could also help them to show a cat and say its sound so that the child can relate the sound to the animal or an object.
STAGE 7 (19-24 Months)
The baby grows into a better listener that is driven by curiosity and wants to understand newer events around her. So she often listens, when a conversation occurs among adults, she understands them partially. This influences her little choice of everyday scenario.
Also try to give her what she asks for (within reasonable consideration, of course). This will be a great boost to her confidence and also you could witness lesser meltdowns over misunderstood requests. By responding appropriately, you are emphasising how powerful the speech is and the reward she can get for talking right.
STAGE 8 (25-36 Months)
It is when a toddler turns 2 years and older that she actively engages in a conversation, grammatically connecting sentences, often into an entertaining and a dramatic piece of argument. This is a stepping stone for her speech development, moulding her into a better speaker and a great conversationalist.
Things To Watch Out For
The purpose of a baby swing is to soothe your baby by mimicking the motions they have been accustomed to from the months that they have spent in your womb up to the time you are cradling them in your arms, using different rocking motions to calm or put them to sleep. In purchasing a baby swing, you must consider the types of motion the swing can provide. The best baby swing can offer several types of motions. These may include swinging back and forth and swinging from side to side. Other models may even break away from these usual motions and may even try to mimic motions that parents make when they try to calm their babies down, such as wave motions or car ride motions. Try to look for a product that can offer more than one motion so that you can be able to change it up. This way, baby will enjoy the different motions and will not tire of it easily. Also, more than one option can help you figure out which type can soothe your baby the most.
Tips For Parents
Parents often play a vital role in the development of their babies. In their growing stage, the toddlers need gentle attention which is often, in the form of reading, singing and most importantly conversing in a positive attitude. These little processes aid in their developmental skills both verbally and in the form of behaviour. It is important to keep the baby engaged in an active communication by touch and speech. Thus, patience is to be exercised to get the best results. It is also important when a child is communicating, the parents must give undue attention to their speech and what they speak about. The importance to their speech given by a parent, can help them to become better listeners. Sometimes lack of attention from parents can lead the toddlers to often have issues with their speech and behaviour.
Communication is one of the important human qualities. As a baby grows, these skills help them into becoming a better human being. Thus, it is vital to pay attention to their linguistic skills as they grow. Children often benefit the most when they are from a family with multi linguistic abilities and the same special care is given to their developmental stages. Great conversationalists are often nurtured in the initial stages of what they become in the future.