When do babies start babbling and other answers to questions on your child’s language development.
There is something so magical about those first sweet sounds your baby makes. Oh, how those little coos and soft sounds can make your heart flutter! Soon those soft coos turn into a variety of vowels and before you know it your little love is babbling consonants. And sure enough, you are babbling too! So just when do babies start babbling?
Babble, babble! Just when do babies start babbling?
- Typically by 3 months of age, your baby will begin to explore her voice by cooing and making soft pleasurable sounds. Coos are soft sounds, typically vowels. Tender vocalizations that gently shape “ahh”, “ohh”, and “mmm”.
- Between 3 and 6 months of age, those soft vocalizations become more distinct and a few consonants emerge. Typically those first sounds include m, b, p, and g. These sounds are most often combined with the vowel ‘ah’. You may hear your little one produce “ma”, “ba”, “pa”, or “ga”. Once your babe starts to produce these early consonants, he is officially babbling! Yes, that quickly cooing becomes babbling! Now the fun begins and the stage is set for her first words to develop!
- Between 6 months and 9 months of age, your baby’s babbling becomes more complex. She will add more consonants and vowels to her sound repertoire. You will hear longer sequences of sounds such as repeating the same sound “ba-ba-ba-ba” and sequences that change the consonant only “ba-ba-ga-ga”.
- Between 9 months and 12 months of age, she will begin to babble varied syllable strings which means changing consonants and vowel patterns. For example, she may look at you, smile, and babble “mama-be-be-be-go” with a natural rhythm to her sound sequence that sounds like she is trying words. In ways she is trying words! Often this is called jabbering. She is experimenting with the power of sound combinations and the effect they have on you. Perhaps you respond with an interpretation, “mama and baby go? You want mama and baby go outside?” Perhaps you imitate her and wait for her to vocalize again. She is learning from your response that sounds can make words and words have meaning.
- Typically between 12 months and 15 months, those babbling jabbering sequences really start to sound like words! The sequences contain sound variation and are paired with changes in intonation and rhythm. Often you will stop yourself and wonder if your baby just said “ball”, “dog”, “cookie”, or another familiar word. Perhaps you are hearing words or word approximations. During this time frame a parent typically hears their baby’s first true words! First words typically include “mama” and “dada” and one to two other words for familiar objects.
- Between 15 months and 18 months of age, words continue to develop with many children having 5-10 words, some will use 10-25 words. Often children continue to babble and jabber during this time frame. Babbling is by now quite complex and often referred to as jargon. Jargon sounds like a real language, perhaps a foreign language though, because typically you can not understand it! Jargon contains real words paired with other babbled sequences that create a sentence type structure, but you are only able to interpret a word or two of what your child said.
- By 24 months of age, typically all form of jargon and babbling have disappeared from your child’s language. Now words are rapidly developing and your baby…gasp, toddler, is creating a variety of word combinations to express her wants, needs, and thoughts. Typically a child of 24 months of age will use 50-200 words daily to communicate.
The development of speech and language is certainly magical! From the first sweet coo to babbling games. From that first joyous word to your child wrapping their arms around you and exclaiming, “I love you, momma!” Coo, babble, and jabber along with your baby on this wonderful sound adventure!
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