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First-Year Language Milestones in Tiny Tots

Jan 23, 2023

The rewards of parenting come with time, but they are absolutely worth every second of the journey. In the first year of life, you’ll find that your child is interested in noises and sounds right from the get-go. Language milestones are some of the most distinct milestones because of their communicative nature. There’s nothing like watching your baby take the first steps toward their very first word. You’ll be amazed by how quickly your child catches on and learns a language that is brand new to them. 

Language Milestones in the First 7 Months 

Once your baby is born, you’ll quickly learn how they are no strangers to making noise, but they won’t be raising the roof with real words just yet. They have language milestones yet to reach. From birth to three months, babies will coo, express cries for different needs, and smile. Bring on all the smiles! Around 3 to 4 months, your baby will make eye contact. Babies start babbling at 3 – 6 months of age as well. Baby babbling refers to your child making vowel-consonant or consonant-vowel sounds such as ‘da’ or ‘ma.’ This is a major milestone because it tells you that your child is getting used to using their mouth and voice for communication. By 5 to 7 months, your child should be experimenting more with their pitch and volume. They’ll even copy some sounds and gestures they hear. Your baby is really watching you closely and learning from you.

Language Milestones

Language Milestones from 8-12 Months

The age of your baby’s first word is about one year old, so you know this major language milestone is right around the corner. A child’s babbling becomes more advanced during this time with longer strings of babbling (‘dadadada’ or ‘popodede’). It may sound like your baby is actually talking during this time as they begin using conversational skills such as turn-taking. Of course, your baby’s jargon doesn’t make sense quite yet. At around 10-11 months, your baby will also start using gestures to communicate with you such as pointing or looking at an object. What comes next? Yes! Your baby’s first word is on the way!

Baby’s First Word Emerge 

Boom! And just like that, at around year one, your child is uttering their very first real word. It’s one of the many thousands of words that your child will one day learn and speak. You may hear some babies say “Mama” or “Dada” as their first word. Sometimes babies can say these around 8 to 9 months, but generally, they don’t know what it means quite yet. Sounds still may not be totally clear yet, but your baby is well on their way to becoming quite the chatty communicator. Remember that each baby will reach language milestones a little differently. If you have any concerns, always speak with your child’s pediatrician. 

Language Milestones

Encourage Language in the Home

Encourage language development in the home! Parents can do a lot to help their little ones reach language milestones. Even though your little one doesn’t talk back to you with understandable words, it’s crucial to interact with your little one as much as possible. Talk to them about what they might see or feel in certain situations, try games like peek-a-boo sing to them, and of course, include lots of storytime. If your baby is looking at you or trying to initiate interaction with you, don’t ignore them. Respond! The more interaction from you, the better. A word of caution. Never try to replace interaction with tech. Early tech use is detrimental to development. Babies learn best from real-world interactions with you. 

Language Milestones

A speech therapist for kids can help those who struggle with speech sounds, language, social communication, fluency, or voice. With questions, contact us today. Our speech therapists are the best if we can say so. 

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