Today, we will talk about an interesting topic of language and speech development in babies. As a new parent, you’re probably paying close attention to important milestones in your child’s life: the first tooth, the first time your baby grasps an object, the first time he or she rolls over, sits up, crawls and walks. But do you know when your child should start speaking and developing language skills? You can make sure your child is on track by watching out for some basic communication milestones, too.
Early signs of communication occur during the first few days of life, when an infant learns that crying will bring food, comfort and companionship. The newborn also begins to recognize important sounds in his or her environment, such as a parent’s voice.
As they grow, infants start to sort out the speech sounds that compose the words of their language. An infant is able to make more controlled sounds as the jaw, lips, tongue and voice mature. This begins in the first few months of life when infants start “cooing,” a quiet, pleasant, repetitive vocalization.
By 6 months of age, an infant usually babbles or produces repetitive syllables such as “ba-ba-ba” or “da-da-da.” Babbling soon turns into a type of nonsense speech that often has the tone and rhythm of human speech but does not contain real words. By the end of their first year, most children are able to say a few simple words. Children quickly learn the power of those words as others respond to them.
By 18 months of age, most children can say 8 to 10 words. By age 2, most are putting words together into short phrases or sentences, such as “more milk.” Children continue to learn that words symbolize or represent objects, actions and thoughts. They also engage in representational or pretend play. Between ages 3 and 5, a child’s vocabulary increases, and he or she begins to master the rules of language, or grammar.
Birth to 5 Months
· Reacts to loud sounds.
· Turns head toward a sound source.
· Watches your face when you speak.
6 to 11 Months
· Understands “no-no.”
· Babbles (says “ba-ba-ba” or “ma-ma-ma”).
· Tries to communicate by actions or gestures.
12 to 17 Months
· Uses several words meaningfully.
· Attends to a book or toy for about 2 minutes.
· Follows simple directions accompanied by gestures.
· Answers simple questions nonverbally.
18 to 23 Months
· Enjoys being read to.
· Points to simple body parts such as “nose.”
· Says 8 to 10 words (pronunciation may still be unclear).
It’s important as parents, to keep communicating with your babies. Remember, the more you show interest and babble with your babies, faster the baby can speed up the process of language development.
Enjoy Parenting and have a great time!!!