You many not hear baby talk right away, but your baby's language development begins when he is merely an infant. Some believe that the sounds a baby hears while still in the womb contribute to language development, also. As he continues to grow, the elementary sounds he makes will eventually evolve into real words and, later, sentences.
Baby Talk: Birth to Three Months
As soon as your infant is born, she will be able to communicate in a rudimentary manner. Her cries of hunger, discomfort, pain, and loneliness will be her attempts at communicating her needs to her caregivers.
As she continues to grow, she'll add more sounds, such as cooing and gurgling to show her contentment and pleasure. Her first laugh will bring both you and her complete joy. She is learning to express all of her emotions! As you get to know your baby, you'll become much more familiar with the meaning of her different cries and other sounds, and you'll understand how to respond to each one.
Three to Six Months
While there's no baby talk yet, he will become much more adept at communicating with you. As his teeth begin to develop, he'll practice forming different sounds using his tongue, lips, teeth, and palate. He'll take great pleasure in the new sounds he makes, and he may practice them over and over. In fact, you may be able to detect a pattern of syllables in his excessive babbling. Don't be surprised if you hear "ma-ma" or "da-da" occasionally.
Six to Twelve Months
Your baby will continue to babble. As he nears his first birthday, however, you may notice that while you may have difficulty understanding him, he is beginning to understand more of your words. Continue to talk to him, and even more importantly, read to him. As you read or talk to your baby, point out objects and repeat their names. You are helping to build his vocabulary daily, which is important.
Twelve to Eighteen Months
As your baby grows, she is beginning to understand how important language is to her world. She is starting to vocalize words so that you can understand her. Many of these words will be one-syllable at first, such as "bye", "ball", "oh". Continue to read and talk to her, and look for opportunities to help her expand her vocabulary.
Eighteen to Twenty-four Months
By the time your child reaches eighteen months, he may have a vocabulary of several words. He will also be able to understand much of what you say to him, and he is learning new words every day. By the time he reaches his second birthday, he will be able to say two and three word sentences, although certain aspects of language may confuse him, such as referring to himself as "I". He may say "me", "baby", or even his name, instead.
Twenty-four to Thirty-six Months
Your baby's talking will have progressed into understandable and longer sentences, and she will begin understanding the differences in pronoun usage, also. Most of her sentences will now have a subject and a verb, along with a few other words, and she'll be able to recite nursery rhymes and sing complete songs. She'll be able to express herself clearly by the time she is this age.
If you suspect a speech or hearing problem, you should speak to your pediatrician about your concerns. If you notice that your baby has stopped babbling at around seven or eight months, or that she doesn't want to make eye contact with you, tell your doctor.
Baby Talk Help
You can stimulate your child's language development by talking to him frequently, beginning even before his birth. Play games, sing silly songs, and read to him on a daily basis. Before you know it, your babbling baby will become a talkative toddler!