As we all know, when a baby is born, he cannot speak, nor can he express his feelings. Baby’s language development is not a rapid process, and it develops as the month passes. Each baby is different with its unique abilities, so some parents may notice that their baby can talk in the early stages. At the same time, some may experience delays in their baby language development.
Let me tell you, your baby’s brain also plays a significant role is in developing your baby’s language. There are various neurons in your baby’s brain that communicate with each other to form connections. As the neurons create the connections, the ability of your baby to understand and perform the activities develops. So, today in this article, I am going to discuss with you’ll how language development of your baby takes place.
How do babies learn language?
As your baby’s brain develops, your baby’s ability to communicate and learn the language also develops. So, babies learn the language with the help of their senses of hearing and sight. Your baby will try listening to what you are saying and then try to mimic your sound or words to create his own. Your baby’s language development depends on the language you or others speak with him and the accent which he usually hears. That means the more your talk to your baby, the more your baby’s communication skill increases, as you baby will try to respond to you in your language. Therefore, keep talking to your baby while feeding, playing, or changing his diaper to help him under different words in your language.
What are the stages of baby language development?
Before your baby learns or starts saying the whole sentence or words correctly, he passes various stages. So, let us have a look at these stages of language development.
Baby Talking Stages
During the initial stage, your baby cannot talk, but his language development is still in the process even if he doesn’t speak. Your baby may learn the gestures, try to make eye contact with you when you talk to him and listen to your talks and make cooing or babbling sound. He may also cry to tell you his cues like whether he is hungry, in pain, feeling discomfort, and even if he wants your attention. Your baby might say words like ‘dadadada’ or ‘mamamama.’
At the age of 10 to 13 months old, your baby may start to utter one word at a time, depending on the scenario. That one word may not be very clear, but you will be able to understand it. In this case, even if your baby doesn’t name that object or say the word clearly, you should tell him the exact word, so that he can learn it properly. For example, your baby might say the word ‘dada’ or ‘mama’ if he wants you to come to him. Also, at this stage, you can teach baby sign language to your child so that it is easy to understand his needs. If you fail to understand what he is trying to say, so with the help of sign language, you will come to know what your baby wants.
Two Words Stage
When your baby is around 18 months old, he enters this stage. Now, your baby will try to combine two words to form a phrase. He might not say the sentence grammatically correct. Still, he can say phrases that contain a question, describing an object, using no if he doesn’t like anything, and even saying commanding phrases. For example, he might say phrases like ‘toy small’ for describing the toy and say ‘where dada’ if he wants to ask where my dada is.
Your baby enters this stage when he is two and two and a half years old. In this stage, your baby will combine to or more words to form the sentence. He can create the sentence with the subject and the predicate. For example, he can say ‘Toy is small’ or ‘Where is dada?’ Also, note that some may speak little earlier as every kid is unique, while others might face delay in reaching this stage.
Near Adult Grammar Stage
At 3 to 5 years, your baby enters this stage. Now, your baby will be able to speak a more complex and lengthy sentence with conjunctions and prepositions embedded in it. For example, he might say the sentence like ‘Take me to the garden.’
Full Competence Stage
Your baby enters this stage when he is 5 to 6 years old. At this stage, your baby will understand everything and will be able to speak even the complex sentence easily. He can also recite poems and stories with actions.
Baby Language Milestones
So, now you know how a baby’s language develops at different stages. You might be wondering by which month your baby must identify specific words or how to track your baby’s language development. So let me tell you that certain milestones can be considered for monitoring your baby’s language development. Let’s take a look at it.
1 month old language development
In the first month, your baby will:
- Respond to what you say.
- Begin to coo.
- Communicate with you with a smile when he likes something or cries if he is hungry, in pain, or discomfort.
2 month old language development
In the second month, your baby will:
- Smile back at you if you smile at him while talking.
- Look at your when you talk to him.
- Try to discover his voice.
- Make gurgling, squealing or cooing sounds.
3 month old language development
In the third month, your baby will:
- Laugh with you while playing or when you tickle him.
- Cry in a different way for his various needs.
- Smile at you when you go close to him.
- Start to recognize your voice.
- Turn towards other voices or sounds.
4 month old language development
In the fourth month, your baby will:
- Laugh aloud with you.
- Change the shape of the mouth to modify different sounds.
- Begin to babble.
- Respond to the sound.
- Start recognizing frequently used words.
5 month old language development
In the fifth month, your baby will:
- Chatter, which sounds like real words.
- Put consonant and vowel sounds together randomly, but they will not know the meaning of those words.
- Try to mimic different sounds.
- Like to hear various sounds made by others.
6 month old language development
In the sixth month, your baby will:
- Make different types of sounds, like yelling, squealing, growling, etc.
- Produce different vowel sounds.
- Try to put consonants and vowels together.
- Produce vocalization daily or weekly.
- Use his voice to express his happiness and discomfort.
- Listen to music carefully.
7 month old language development
In the seven month, your baby will:
- Start to understand your language.
- He will turn his head when you or anyone call out his name.
- Try to communicate with you by making different sounds.
8 & 9 month old language development
In these 2 months, your baby will:
- Understand what he likes and dislikes, so he makes sounds as per his needs.
- Say real words like mama or dada.
- Understand the meaning of a few words and can also perform the actions, as you say.
10 & 11 month old language development
In these months, your baby will:
- Mimic whatever you say or do.
- Perform the activities you ask them to do.
- Respond to you if you call out his name or ask him a question.
- Point to the correct object and even can bring the same.
12 month old language development
In this month, your baby will:
- Try to imitate different sounds.
- Understand simple instructions.
- Try to say a few simple words.
- Able to recognize objects by their name.
Causes for Concern
Every baby is different, so you don’t have to worry if your baby is little late in reaching the milestone. But yes, if he is taking too long, then its a concern. I have mentioned some concerns below, and if you found any such in your baby, you should consult your pediatrician for advice and tips to improve your baby’s language development.
- Understanding simple words – Your baby is not able to understand simple words like yes, no, or bye-bye by 15 months.
- Vocabulary – Your baby must be able to speak one-word sentence till the age of 15 or 16 months and should know at least ten words by 18 months of age.
- Understand the direction – By 21 months of old, your baby should know the direction. For example, ‘come here’ or ‘go there.’
- More often babbling or using jargon – When your baby is 2 years old, he should not be using jargon very often; instead, he must use the real words.
- Know the body parts – At the age of 2, your baby should be able to point to his body parts.
- Use of 2 words sentence – At 2 years of age, your baby must be able to say 2 words sentence.
Some additional scenarios where you have to concern about your baby:
- Your baby is avoiding eye contact when you talk with him.
- He is not able to focus on things.
- Your baby is finding difficulty in learning rhymes and songs.
- Your baby doesn’t understand and neither speak words at 18 months of age.
- Your baby is not able to recognize or name everyday objects.
- If you are finding it difficult to understand what your baby is telling you.
Ways to Help Your Child’s Language Development
You, as a parent, play a significant role in developing your baby’s language or vocabulary. The child who speaks in his early childhood has a higher chance of developing vast vocabulary and better grammar. Here are some of the ways that can help you to build your baby’s language.
Talk to your baby
Talking to your baby most of the time will help your baby understand your language better. You can speak to him while feeding, bathing, playing, or taking him for a walk in the garden. Tell him what’s going around and what is going to happen next.
Readout to your baby
You can read out some exciting storybooks to your baby so that he can improve his focus and listening skills. If possible, tell the story by elaborating the characters and little acting so that your baby enjoys the story. Your baby will also learn new words, which will help him to build his vocabulary.
Observe your child’s interest
While reading, if your baby is interested in some specific picture, e.g., flower, then try to talk more about it. You can also show him different flowers and try to interact with your baby by asking him questions.
Listen to music together
Young kids usually like music, so even your baby might like music and even dance on it. Music will help your baby to understand the world around him and also will help to understand the rhythm of the language.
Praise your baby for his attempt to talk
When your baby tries to talk, be it in confusing or grammatically not proper or not pronouncing the word correctly, so instead of just correcting it and telling it, praise your baby and encourage him. Doing this will build up confidence in him, and he will try to learn more words.
Baby language development is a slow process, as your baby has to start learning from scratch. You have to introduce your baby to new words so that he can develop his vocabulary, which is beneficial for developing his language. So, I hope this baby’s language development guide has helped you to understand the stages of development and how you can improve your baby’s language.
If you know any other way of developing your baby’s communication skills, then do let us know in the comment section below.