Everyone who has a baby knows that babies learn to talk during their first two years of life. Adults hardly understand how such a small creature can learn the rules of language and figure out how adults use it to communicate long before she utters her first word.
However, no parent can remain indifferent to the first word of their baby. Have you ever seen strong and aggressive men turning into butter when the baby ‘decides’ that the first spoken word is ‘Dad’ or ‘Pap’? At that moment, there is no the man in the world who doesn’t forget all the rules of machismo. In a blink of an eye, your husband turns into a gentle, sensual creature that you haven’t known before
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- When Do Babies Start Talking
When Do Babies Start Talking
n the very beginning, my baby drove me completely crazy. Her conversation reduced to constant crying. Don’t mention the fact that this was very loud and too often if you asked me. Fortunately, this period didn’t last long although it seemed that it had no ends. Be prepared that during the time your baby passes through a huge leap in language development. That means the baby improve her ability to express herself with words all the time.
For the first month or two, I was thrilled every time when my daughter used her tongue and lips to made sounds like ‘ooh’s’ or ‘ahh’s’. But, after that period of unusual communication, you can expect that your baby will start babbling with four months of age. If you start reading all books about this topic, you will see that experts believe that this period of time is a very important phase which precedes real communication. And, when you least expect, after about six months, all those unarticulated but sweet sounds will become real words.
Don’t worry. You won’t understand a word when your baby starts “talking”. She just tries to express her budding language skills, memories, and repeats sounds. Obviously, she takes her time to think about what she wants to “say”. This is a perfect way for her to learn how to use verbal actions to express what she wants.
Believe or not, long before your baby says a word, she learns the rules of language by watching how you react to her sounds. Also, she follows your conversation with other people around. Be sure that she is barely waiting to learn a language and start talking to you.
Honestly, I burst out laughing when I heard for the first time that the work of understanding language began while a baby was still in the uterus and that she could discern my voice among others. But, when I think about it better, maybe all of that makes sense. Every time I got upset during pregnancy, my baby pounded. When I laughed or listened to music, she moved slowly. Who knows, maybe she could understand my speech too.
Talk To Your Baby
The most important things to do are to talk with your baby. I can tell you, without any hesitation that my daughter understood everything I said to her. Of course, you don’t need to chatter nonstop but talk to her or sing for her whenever you’re together.
You know, I have two cats. I usually talk with them when they eat or while I cuddle and scratch them. And I continued to do that with my baby too. The only difference was that my daughter listened to me all the time, but cats did that only until they got bored. Believe me; your child will never be bored while you talk to her.
Also, you should sing her all songs you know as much as possible, from lullabies and first kids’ songs to modern rock music you like the most. For instance, when you sing the same song when your baby starts crying, she’ll recognize. And, after a very short period of time, she will calm down when she hears it.
Apart from singing, the most important thing for your baby is reading. I have always liked to read. I continued reading during pregnancy. From our first day at home, my baby enjoyed listening to me. Don’t give up reading. Reading to your child is a great way to expose her to new vocabulary. In that way, she will understand how to put a sentence together. At the same time, she will be delighted in the sound of your voice.
Explain things to her! You should start with simple things such as naming the parts of her body. Try to make up rhymes as you name the parts of your baby’s body while you touch them. Or pronounce them so that they sound like a song. Also, point out everything in your baby’s environment, including people, animals (it is helpful if you have a pet at home), and objects.
You should use different tones when you talk so that she will try to imitate you and learn new sounds. Help her. When she starts babbling while looking around, ask her if she asks for a bottle, for example. All your effort will get meaning after six to seven months when her babbling becomes more speech-like
The First Word
There is the custom in my country connected with the baby’s first word. We believe that the next baby in the family will be a boy if the first baby’s word is ‘Dad’ or ‘Pap’. But, if the baby firstly says ‘Mom’ or ‘Granny’, the next baby in the family will be a little girl. I am not sure that this custom has any sense for others, but in my family, it works perfectly for generations.
However, the first word is very important both for the baby and for all people in one home. That first word is the first step towards a new way of communicating with the youngest family member
Being A Bilingual Child Is A Big Advantage
I want to say something about rising bilingual child too. As a member of the bilingual family, I can claim that it is a real privilege starting a life using two different languages. From the very beginning, my parents used one, and my grandmother talked to me in her native language. And they noticed one unbelievable thing. When I started talking, I always answered to my parents on their language but talked with my Granny on hers. I have never mixed a word!
This is the way I raise my daughter because there is one more benefit bilingual kids have. All of us learn other languages during the life easier than other children. Parents don’t even have to use two different native languages. It is enough if one of them is a foreign language teacher. But, you have to be persistent. You cannot talk with your child in both languages because it will make confusion in her brain.
If you decide to grow a bilingual child, one person has to use adequate language during first three to six years minimum. After that, it is unusual when child realize that both parents know the same language. But, it can no longer confuse her.
And, don’t believe that raising a child to be bilingual leads to speech delays. I started to chatter without stopping before I filled a year’s life!
If you still hesitate, just remember that in the long run, the advantage of using two languages offers her benefits in the future. Be fluent in more than one language is superiority, especially in the nowadays professional world. For dedicated travelers like me, it creates a lot of opportunities in communication with foreigners.
Until The First Birthday
However,until your baby’s first birthday, she can start with saying single words including ‘mama’, ‘dada’, ‘papa’, ‘Hi’, ‘Buba’, ‘Kitty’. Ohh, I certainly mustn’t forget the most used word – NO! Unbelievable, but one of the first words my child learned was NO! And every time I said something to her, she repeated NO!
For a few months, our conversation was about like this:
“Do you want to eat?”
”Come to Mommy”
”Say something to Dad”
I truly believed that I gave a birth to a ‘NO’ monster. Fortunately, it was just a phase. I relieved when it passed.
As the first birthday of your baby is approaching, she will probably pronounce the basic words such as ‘cookie’, ‘juice’ or ‘milk’. Well, it seems that food motivates us from the earliest years. Believe or not, one of the first words my daughter said was ‘chocolate’. I couldn’t understand how she managed to say such a complicated word. But, it is the fact that I adore that delicacy and she could hear that word very often.
At the same time, your baby will slowly begin to understand a few words. She will be able to understand names and simple objects such as ‘rattle’ or ‘bottle’. She will distinguish intonation and realize the difference between praise and a sharp tone which means ‘No!’. But, don’t be naive. I said that she will understand, not that she will always listen.
As time goes by, your child starts using more and more words every day. But, now she will know what all those words mean. She’ll even introduce a different intonation into her speech. For example, when my daughter wanted to be carried, she immediately raised her tone and started screaming ‘Up-py!’. She realized very early the importance of language as she tapped into the power of communicating her needs.
The Second Birthday Brings New Challenges
Until the second birthday, your child will probably say fewer than fifty words, but be aware that she now understands much more than she can utter. It is amazing looking at her every single day and watching that she learns more words every day, every hour or a minute.
Precisely because at this age children are rapidly progressing, you should watch your language! Don’t say bad words or anything you wouldn’t like to hear from her. It seems that she can understand everything and that absorb new words like a sponge. Don’t be surprised when you wake up one morning and hear from your kid a real short sentence such as ‘Dear cat’ or ‘Carry me’.
As a two-year-old child, she may use two to three word sentences. She may sing simple tunes she has heard from you. According to my experience, you can expect that first sentences will be about what she likes or doesn’t like. It will be followed by her thoughts and feelings. To the horror of me as a mother, my sweet baby’s first sentence was ‘Love cats’.
The Whole World Is Summarized in A Pronoun ‘I’
You may consider that your child is already ‘grown-up’ when starts to use pronouns such as ‘I’, ‘me’ or ‘you’. But to make things clear, most often word will be ‘I’. For a long period of time, she will use only sentences like ‘I want’, ‘I need’, ‘I like’, ‘I hate’ and inevitable ‘I NO’.
Until the third birthday, you can expect that your child can compile verbs and nouns together and form simple sentences such as ‘I NO eat’, ‘I want go’, or of course, ‘I love cats’. Even I believe that my daughter understood every one of my words from the day she was born; experts say that a child is able to understand all that is said when she is three years old.
Well, I agree with them if it is about complicated things. She obliged when I asked her to do more things at a time. For example, in that age, she understood when I said ‘Leave the cat alone and start eating’. I know that she understood completely because the first answer was always ‘I NO!’
And What’s Next?
The days of expectations of your princess’ first word very soon will become an ancient past. Deal with the fact that the life in silence becomes an unattainable dream with every new day. As your child grows, she becomes worse than a chatterbox.
From time to time, you will certainly want to return those peaceful days of silence. But, you will be most often delighted in her chatting about what happened at preschool. You will be forced to hear everything about the horrible boy who pulls her braids. And you will have to listen to the full description the best friend’s new dress.
By the age of four, your child will speak in sentences of three to five words and will use some of the basic grammar rules. Also, she will speak well enough and strangers can understand her now.
After that, the nightmare can start. Get ready for every “Why” question under the sun. Don’t bother with asking for answers to possible questions. She will ask all the questions that you could not expect in any of your dreams.