The first year of your baby’s life is filled with all sorts of learning and development. Parents wait with baited breath to hear their baby’s first words. There are some things to, first of all, keep in mind when considering your baby’s speech development:
– First, all babies develop at their own pace. Some may develop language skills much faster than others at this stage.
– Girls tend to be faster than boys at developing language skills.
– Language and speech development can be slow and steady, or it can come in spurts.
Here are some general milestones when it comes to speech in the first year:
– At around one week after delivery, a baby can tell the difference between her mom’s voice and another woman’s voice.
– After around 14 days, a baby can tell the difference between her dad’s voice and another man’s voice.
– During the first 3 months, baby can be startled by loud noises and calmed by gentle voices.
– After 3 months, a baby will start using vowel sounds, gurgling, and saying “ah.”
– Between the ages of 4 months and 6 months, your baby will coo and squeal to get attention. His hunger cry will become distinct during this time also. Your baby may seem to enjoy it when you talk to her, and she will watch your face intently when you talk.
– Between the ages of 6 months and 8 months, the baby will begin using some consonant sounds, and combining them with vowel sounds, to say things like “mama” and “dada,” although they aren’t connecting those words yet with mommy or daddy.
– Sometime between the ages 6 months and 1 year, your baby will begin to understand certain frequent words, such as “bye, bye” and “up” and their own name. Also during this period, they may try to sing along with music, and may laugh and imitate the sound of a cough.
Again, each child is different. If your baby doesn’t say “mama” and “dada” until after her 10th month, it doesn’t mean that she will have language or speech delays. If you are concerned that your baby may not be developing as he should, you should contact your pediatric health care provider who can help to evaluate the situation.