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When Do Babies Start Talking?

When Do Babies Start Talking?

There’s nothing on earth that quite compares to watching your little bundle of joy experience something new for the very first time.

The feeling deep inside is indescribable. There’s so much pride, excitement, and happiness…and just a pinch of sadness. My baby’s growing up too quickly. 

And there’s nothing better than when your little one learns how to communicate through talking. You see, that little baby of yours is actually really clever.

Not that I had to tell you that! And they have been learning and understanding language and communication from as early as inside the womb. 

Studies show when you speak to your little one while they’re still inside your belly, they begin to become familiar with the rhythm and sound of your voice.

They obviously won’t know what you’re saying yet, but even in these early stages they will find comfort from your voice.  

But how long does it generally take for your little one to reach that exciting ‘talking’ milestone?

Well, this is a fairly difficult question to answer since every adorable baby will learn to talk at their own pace, in their own time.

With that being said, though, most children will follow common stages in their language development.

So, if you identify those you can get a relative overview of how close your little one is to their first words. 

Ready to learn more? Let’s go! 

Baby Babbling 

I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard a baby babbling at some point or another, right? It’s when they are first attempting to make sounds or to speak.

It’s a pretty adorable thing to witness as they play around with the pitch and volume of their voice. 

And most of the time, you won’t get any coherent words out of them. But that’s okay. Languages are hard and tricky, they need the time to practice.

So, don’t be surprised if you hear da-da-da-da or na-ma-na-ma or any other gibberish or gobbledygook. Your little one is simply playing around with the sounds they can make. 

It’s basically your child’s first attempt at speaking any language. And all the practice becomes worthwhile.

Those babbles will be the basis of their very first words and those sighing and cooing noises you’ll hear will eventually turn into consonant sounds. 

So, now you know about baby babbling, let’s take a look at the time frame in which they will develop this skill. 

By Six Months 

By the sixth month mark, your baby will usually be babbling away. At this age they are usually learning a selection of short consonant-vowel sounds. 

Ma, Ba, Da, Ra…

At this point, your little one is very quickly acquiring receptive language.

What this means is that they are beginning to understand the meaning of words before they actually have the ability to say them outloud. 

When Do Babies Start Talking?

By Nine Months 

A few months later, you can expect your little one to start learning how to string several different sounds together to form multiple syllables.

Now, they can typically understand a lot more than they can actually say. 

Simply put, this means that though they have the development to understand the meaning for certain words they just haven’t yet formed all the motor skills needed to form the words.

It is also a lot easier for a child to understand a word cognitively than it is for them to pluck the specific word they need from their memory at this stage. 

Baby Talking 

Though babies will start playing around with noises and sounds from as early as six months, it generally takes around a year for them to start speaking their official first words.

Before this point they will have used other forms of communication to show you their needs such as crying, cooing, and smiling. 

But at around the year mark, they will start to learn the most effective mode of communication – talking. 

Now, there’s no need to panic if your child is slightly earlier or later than the time parameters mentioned in this article. As I’ve mentioned before, babies will all learn to talk at their own pace. 

However, you can generally expect those first words to start popping up anywhere from 9 months onwards. Let’s take a closer look at the time frame for talking. 

By Twelve Months 

At around the year mark, you may finally reach that exciting milestone where your baby is able to say ‘mama’ or ‘dada.’

However, you can expect it to take around 18 months before they will start talking more clearly and using a range of different words. 

The typical first words you’ll hear will be the names of the most important people (here’s looking at you parents) , food and drink items, toys, and routine-familiar words such as ‘mine’ or ‘all done.’

By Twenty-Four Months 

Between the ages of 18 months and 24 months, their world in terms of talking will open wide. Their vocabulary will rapidly increase as they start to learn new words each and every day. 

Around this age range you can expect your little one to know anywhere between 50-100 different words. Aren’t they just a little clever clogs!

And it’s a very exciting time to reach around 100 words of vocabulary because it means that they can start combining words together to actually speak in simple phrases rather than just one word answers. 

It can vary from baby to baby, but at around 24 months you should begin to lose track of the exact number of words your little one knows. 

Final Thoughts

Learning how to speak isn’t a one-size-fits-all experience. The timeline of how long it will take can vary from baby to baby.

However, once your little one starts babbling just know that they are taking their first steps into spoken communication. 

From there, you can expect to hear their first word at around the one year mark and in just another year’s time they should be able to communicate with you in a collection of small and simple phrases. 

Jessica Daniels

Hey there! I’m Jessica Daniels, the owner of Posh Tots and a proud mom of two.

Me and my team of experts (who also happen to be moms) test and review parenting products, and share our tips and tricks to help you make informed choices for your little ones.

Let’s navigate this crazy parenting journey together!

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