Maybe your baby has passed the cooing stage where you were on the receiving end of lots of “oohs” and “aahs.” Now, they are starting to put consonants like “p,” “b,” and “m’ in from of the oohs and aahs so you are now hearing buh-buh and muh-muh. So, when will your baby really start to talk?
Actually, your baby is (and has been) talking to you since the first coos came out of their mouth. Babies are born ready to learn, and that includes learning to talk since their brains are hardwired for language. Their noises may sound like gibberish to you, but they have meaning. Go ahead and talk back to your baby – agree with them, tell them how special they are, and just let them know that you are paying attention.
Babbling is a stepping-stone to language and should be encouraged. See below for some ideas to keep your baby talking and learning!
How Can You Support Their Language Development?
Talk with your baby beginning at birth, just like you would with a friend.
Ask your baby open-ended questions.
After your baby “talks” to you, pause before you answer them to show how a conversation is held.
When your baby makes a lot of noises, imitate the sounds back to them.
Sing to your baby.
When you talk with your baby, make eye contact and respond lovingly.
Read aloud to your child every day. Don’t rush through the book but take your time. You can use different voices, accents and tones for the characters.
As they get older, pay attention to what they are interested in. If they point at an object, say the correct name and provide extra details, such as what color it is, if it is big or small, and etc.
When your baby begins stringing words together such as “dog eat,” don’t correct them but respond as in a conversation with something like “the dog does like her food.”