You are certainly anxious for your baby to say his first words. The excitement of waiting is usually great and, although it is not possible to force a baby to talk, the reality is that when baby is ready he will say his first words.
Between 4 and 6 months of age babies begin to babble their first double syllables, such as “mama” or “papa”, and use vocalisation to express likes and dislikes. Baby’s first word usually happens around the first year of age.
Stages of baby’s “talking
- 0-3 months – vowel sounds.
- 4-6 months – repeating the same consonant sound several times like “dadada”.
- 6-9 months – babbling with more sounds in the mix.
- 10-12 months – baby jargon, when baby seems to speak his own language.
- 10-18 months – complete understandable words.
To encourage your baby to start talking, here are some suggestions:
A lot of chatter
Right from the start you can chatter around your baby, holding amusing conversations with him, even if he doesn’t answer you. Respond to the loving sounds that baby verbalises, but always give him time to respond. From an early age baby will understand that communication is a two-way street.
Talk normally to your baby
Talk to your little one, or small one, without being in baby talk, talk about everything in a normal way, in this way you will expand your vocabulary, although sometimes it is very difficult not to speak in baby language around one.
Respond to his cries
Before baby enters the stage of learning vocabulary, his most used form of communication is crying. By responding to his crying, you will teach your baby that whenever he communicates, you will be listening, and once you understand baby’s crying, everyone will certainly feel happier.
Small talk: yes
Make small talk with your baby. At this point you will be wondering what you can talk to him about. Talk to him when you’re changing his nappy, when you’re feeding him, when you’re doing ordinary things. Keep up this occasional conversation, and you will see that sooner than you think your baby will start trying to communicate with you, even if it may not be in words.
Sing a song
Whether or not you are good at singing, by repeating the same song to your baby many times, your voice will become music to the little one’s ears. In the process of repetition, the words you mention during the song will start to become more familiar to your baby.
Read him a book
While you may think that a small baby doesn’t find a book interesting, the truth is that it may be more interesting than you think. As soon as your baby is able to sit up, read him a children’s book, preferably one with a few sentences. This will help to increase your baby’s familiarity with words.
Describe what the baby is doing
Whether baby is reaching for an object, or smiling, or even tired, verbalise what he is feeling by putting into words what he is going through. This way you will validate what baby feels and he will be able to put what he feels into words as soon as he starts talking.
Repetition is usually a good way of learning and by repeating yourself you will be preparing for the future when your child will need you to do this constantly, especially at pre-school age.
When your child starts babbling, even if they are the first words that no one understands except the parents, encourage your baby to continue on their good path in learning language.
Always bear in mind that each baby has his own rhythm, and that there are no magic formulas for the development of language for everyone. Never force or make a situation frustrating for your baby as this can cause a delay in language function instead of the opposite. The child has its natural time to learn and you will see that before you know it your baby will be speaking beautifully.