How Do Babies Learn to Talk?

how do babies learn to talk

Babies are actually born ready to learn; however, while they are not able to talk much in the first few months of their life, they are able to easily communicate everything they feel. Usually, they are able to convey a lot of things like hunger, cold, and, even, the need to sleep by simply crying, cooing, or making other sounds.

However, it is also very interesting, the way in which they learn to talk.

So, how do babies learn to talk?

Did you know that your baby’s language and speech abilities begin to form in the womb itself? Yes, by the time you are 18 weeks pregnant, the baby starts to hear your heartbeats, and somewhere around the 27th week of your pregnancy, they start hearing sounds outside your body as well. By the time you reach a full-term, they can listen just like any adult.

This ability to hear things, especially, the mother’s voice highly affects the baby’s language and speech learning ability in the future. It changes the way their brain develops and prepares them well for what is to come.

However, once born, how do babies learn to talk? By listening to you and other things happening around them.

The most basic way in which babies learn to talk is by listening to you. That is exactly why your doctor (and, maybe, even your mother) constantly advises you to talk to your baby all the time even when you think they are unable to understand a word.

Your baby is very receptive to everything that happens around them. They pick up on words, tone, and even on emotion; and, in the initial few months (or, years) their learning ability is incredible. They learn words and things quickly and will begin to speak sooner than later.

Here are some milestones to look out for –

  • Till the age of 3 months – they should be able to recognize their parent’s voice, smile when you look at them and start making small sounds like cooing.
  • From 3 to 6 months – they should start gurgling by now and have a unique sound of their own to express pleasure or displeasure on something.
  • From 6 months to 1 year – they should have spoken their first few words (like, mama), recognize small things by name, and respond to requests like ‘come here.
  • By 2 years of age – they should be able to use two-word sentences, follow simple requests, and answer simple questions.
  • By 3 years of age – they should be able to use three-four word sentences, start talking about things and understand the difference between things like ‘up and down’.

Here are some tips to help babies learn to talk

Understand that every child has their own pace of learning and you cannot really do much about it; you will have to be patient and wait for them to learn in their own time.

However, you can use a few tips to help them in the process, such as –

  • Talk to your baby as much as possible; talk to them about literally anything and everything. The main aim is to try and communicate with them all the time and introduce them to new words every now and then.
  • If your baby points to something or says something, then don’t just give a one-line answer. Instead, acknowledge that you understood what they mean and try to elaborate as much as possible.
  • Reading to your baby has also shown to be very beneficial to a child’s speech development. It also has been shown to positively contribute to their vocabulary and interpersonal relationships in later life.
  • Pay attention to your baby when they try to make sounds or communicate things to you. Smile at them and make them feel heard and acknowledged.

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