Baby Talk

You may not be able to have a conversation with your baby for a few years yet, but his communication skills begin to develop long before that.

Mom reading with baby

In the womb

Before baby is even born, he can learn to distinguish sounds in the womb – particularly the sound of your voice. So speak up! Talk to baby during your pregnancy. A few days after birth, he’ll be able to recognize your voice from others’.

By three months

From baby’s first month to his third, you may notice baby’s cries star to sound different. He has developed the ability to make different sounds (wails, whimpers, sobs, etc.) for different needs. Now your job is to learn to distinguish them… and decipher what each cry means! Baby will also begin to add coos and gurgles into his language repertoire.

Four to six months

Wait for it! At some point during this period, you may get to hear one of the most exciting sounds ever – the sound of your baby uttering “mama” or “dada” for mom or dad! This is the first time baby is learning to combine consonant and vowel sounds. He may not yet understand that mama is you and dada is Daddy… but be patient. He will!

Seven months to one year

During these months, baby will babble more and more and his babbles may sound like he’s forming sentences and having a conversation --  albeit an undecipherable one. Make the most of this developmental language stage by talking and reading to baby as much as possible. Take every opportunity to help baby grasp language by telling what you are doing and explaining what things are as you help him get dressed, feed him and take him to the park or grocery store.

By two

At your baby’s two-year-old well-check your doctor may ask you how many words your baby can say and if he’s forming simple sentences like “baby milk” or “mama read”. At two he’ll probably be able to say between around 50 to100 words and understand twice that many!

More on baby’s milestones

Baby milestones: When should baby sit up, crawl, walk, talk
A timeline for baby’s social milestones
What to do if your baby is missing milestones

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