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Your Baby’s First Words, What To Expect & When

One of the first major milestones for any new parent, is when your baby says their first word. Your baby will make a lot of cooing noises and combinations of vowels and consonants before they manage to string together something that resembles a word. By 8 months old, your baby should be able to say words such as “mama” and “dada”, which, whilst they mean little to them, will mean a lot to you!

So when do babies usually start talking?

Generally, babies start to say words anytime between 9 and 14 months, although it is perfectly normal to take up to 18 months before a baby says a recognizable word. And, unfortunately for those moms out there, it is generally easier for babies to say “da-da”, so don’t be surprised if that is baby’s first word!

Is there anything you can to do to help your baby start talking?

From birth, babies listen to the noises and sounds around them. Slowly, they begin to recognize certain words such as their name and the name of other people and objects. Within a few months of listening to these sounds, your baby will try and make sounds of their own, bringing them ever closer to saying their first word.

It is important to keep talking to your baby to help them say their first word. Keep up a running commentary when you are doing your cleaning, cooking your dinner, or even just having a walk out with baby! If your baby does try to respond to you, ensure that you look them in the eye and respond, not only will baby love the attention, but it will encourage them to try speaking again.

Another method you could try is songs, rhymes and repetitions. Try singing nursery rhymes or make up your own silly rhymes to help your baby remember words more easily. Repetition is also a good learning tool, although it may get a bit boring saying the same things over and over again, it is important for baby as they will begin to understand individual words and what they mean.

Whilst it’s important to speak to and around your baby, it is also important to remember to speak slowly and clearly. This will help your baby to understand and remember certain words. It is all about ensuring that you give baby a chance to learn and focus on individual words.

Lastly, it is a good idea to use words rather than pronouns wherever possible. If you are talking about your book, say “this is mommy’s book.” This will make it a lot clearer for your baby and will mean that they can pick up words easier.

These are just a few tips to help your baby begin speaking, and there are no hard and fast rules for when your baby should start speaking. It is important to remember that every baby learns in their own time, so don’t be disheartened if it takes your baby a bit longer to say their first word.

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