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  • Writer's pictureKate Coyne

Baby babble & First Words

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

What is Baby Babbling?

“Baba”, “mama”, “egoo” These sounds (baby jargon) are known as babbling. Babbling is an essential phase of speech development in a child. In this stage, an infant appears to be experimenting with creating first words but is not quite ready.


Babbling is one way to measure how a child's language is developing. Language milestones are progress recorded as a child goes through the various stages of language development. These developmental milestones involve hearing, understanding, and the ability to speak (i.e., receptive and expressive language skills).


Stages of Language Development - When Do Babies Talk?


Parents and caregivers often ask questions such as: “When do babies start making sounds?”, “When do babies start giggling?”, “When do babies start cooing?”, “When do babies start babbling?”, "When do babies talk?"


Speech Milestones involve a series of stages that begins with crying, cooing, forming a few words, and culminates in sentences. Note that the following dates overlap and vary from one child to the next and should not be interpreted too rigidly.


BIRTH

Babies communicate pain and pleasure by making sounds.


0-3 MONTHS

The pre-talking stage is the baby's first sound production (besides crying and sucking). Babies laugh or giggle in response to things in their world. This period also involves the cooing phase; cooing refers to the baby producing vowel-like sounds. The sounds like Oooooooooooo and Aaaaaaaaaaaa are noticeable. Infants make these coos when having face-to-face interactions with caregivers. Babies may use a different cry for different situations.


4-6 MONTHS

In this stage, babies begin to use babbling to include consonant and vowels combinations such as “da, da, da.” They may use their babbling to gain attention and make different sounds to express feelings.


7-12 MONTHS

During this period, a baby's speech uses a broader range of sounds and syllable combinations in babbling. Young children may attempt to imitate sounds that they hear such car noises and sirens. They may use simple gestures such as shaking their head yes and waving. As they approach their first birthday, first words may emerge.


1- 2 YEARS

In this stage, babies say their first word to comment about their surroundings "dog" and express their needs "mama". The child’s vocabulary continues to grow. Here children begin to form words and two word sentences such as “Mommy go” or “More eat.”


2-3 YEARS

In this period, the child’s vocabulary is expanding rapidly. A child goes from saying just a few words to producing statements that are one, two, or three words in length.



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