When Should My Baby Talk?


Baby BlocksDuring the first few years of life your child will begin to talk. Long before you hear those precious “first words”, your baby will be learning how to communicate and how to express their needs and wants to you.

From the moment your baby is born they will begin to express their needs and emotions by crying, smiling, grimacing and wiggling around.

Within the first few months of life they will move their tongue around and you will start to hear the cooing and babbling. Soon those sounds will turn into the most commonly heard first words, “mama or dada”.

Both of my children said “mama” for their first words and it happened around 7 months old. From then on they began to pick up more words from my husband, myself and everyone else around them.

My youngest is now 18 months old and her pediatrician recently asked us “How many words is she saying?” I hate this question because I never know how to answer it.

This is what I hear from my baby

Could you understand a word of that? LOL

Obviously she is talking.. a LOT, but I have no clue what she is saying other than a random word here and there. Our pediatrician advised us that she should be saying at least 4-5 words.

Here is a general guideline of what a toddler’s timeline of communication might look like

  • 6-12 months – Your baby will start to babble and attempt to make their first sounds. Mama or Dada might slip out a time or two, this is a melt your heart moment ahhhhh
  • 12-18 months – This is when inflection will begin, such as a raised tone when asking a question. Such as “Eat?”
  • 18 months – Though your baby might only speak a few words they know about 50, amazing huh?
  • 18 – 24 months – Your child might be saying around 50-70 words and understand around 200 words. Also around this time they will start to learn two word strings, such as “Mommy nose”
  • 25-36 months – Your child’s vocabulary will grow to over 300 words. Nouns and pronouns will come together to form simple sentences.

These are general guidelines and please remember that every baby is different. My son didn’t start talking until he was almost 2 1/2 and Andrea is 18 months, she is not saying anywhere near 50 words but I do know that she understands a lot.

Communication is there, she can point, she can make sounds to get my attention when she needs me.

Should you be worried if your baby isn’t doing these things?

Of course if you have concerns you should always discuss them with your baby’s pediatrician. From my experience the first two years of life vary so much, child to child. The best thing to do is to continue reading to your child. Talk to your child about the world around them. Don’t stop talking and make each day a play by play.

Next thing you know, your child is 4 and you are asking them to stop talking for just a minute Smile


16 thoughts on “When Should My Baby Talk?

  • Pingback:Why Isn’t My Baby Talking? |Andrea’s Road Through Therapy | Mommy of Two Little Monkeys

  • June 11, 2012 at 10:27 am
    I have a 3 month old and 2 1/2 yr old. The guidelines are very helpful, thank you! Reply
  • May 12, 2012 at 9:54 am
    My 10 month old is always talking, but we have no idea what he's saying! Sometimes he says things that sound pretty close to things we've been teaching him. Reply
  • April 30, 2012 at 7:52 pm
    Wow 7 months is early! Mine both took forever and we talked to the kids soo much! My oldest was over 1 and the second was about 1. They babbled but first words were closer to 1 year. It may be since we speak in multiple languages at home :) Even know our oldest speaks 6 languages but mixes them. Our youngest prefers one language and are older pref English. Reply
  • April 21, 2012 at 11:01 am
    LOL, she is just adorable!!! Well I can say that is truly her "language" and I am sure she thought you all understood every word! Funny because we are going through the same thing with my little man, he is 17 months and barely says a "real word" but he has his language!! LOL gotta love these growing stages!!!!! Reply
  • April 13, 2012 at 6:01 am
    I love your video. Too funny! My grandson didn't start talking until about 2 1/2 and the doctor had us so concerned because he wasn't saying "x" amount of words at "x" age. And he's just fine! I'm a firm believer in it will happen when it happens. Reply
  • April 8, 2012 at 7:12 am
    Oh LOL my Lila is 20 months (19 adjusted for being born early) and she sounds exactly the same!! I mean it is like the same language! I love it so cute. She says random words here and there too. "no" mostly. I had early intervention evaluate her and they said she is "about to talk." I think one day all those babble words will turn into real ones and they will chatter on like that and we will be able to understand them. Ooohh that's scary ;o) My friend says her child sounded like that at age two and then bam the next day they were all words. I think they'll be fine really. I think if at 2 years we don't see an improvement, we call E.I. again. Keep us posted! FB: Toni Marie Caravello reannenny at aol.com Twitter: Tonic67 Google: toni caravello or reannenny Reply
  • April 3, 2012 at 10:40 am
    Great timeline! I think trusting your instinct whether it's feeling like something is off or feeling comfortable with their level of communication is the most important tool. Reply
  • April 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm
    i love this post! i have a 3 month old and i was just wondering when she would start talking! Reply
  • March 29, 2012 at 12:15 am
    Thank you for a great post. I love the general timeline of communication. I have a niece who is 20 months old and I was wondering how many words she should be saying so this helps me to know. Reply
  • March 28, 2012 at 11:46 pm
    I've had such different experiences when it comes to talking with my daughter and son. My daughter started talking early and it just took off from there. We would always get comments about how well she could speak and that people were surprised that they could understand her at her age. Now with my son, he's 22 months and just in the last couple of months has finally started saying a few things. He can sign a TON though with baby signs so he can communicate. And has been babbling like an Italian on a rant, hand gestures and all, since he was about a year. I guess the difference has prompted me to have that concern in the back of my head but my husband and around 18 months I decided to make a conscious effort to work on it with him (enunciating, making deliberate eye contact while speaking, talking through our day, etc.) and it's already been helping a ton. I think if we're still having issues by 3 then we'll seek out help but from 2 to 3 we're just going to work on it ourselves. Reply
  • March 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm
    It's very excited if you will hear your baby saying a single word, it makes you cry and laugh at the same time! Reply
  • March 25, 2012 at 10:58 am
    Aww how cute! LOL We're a bilingual family and speak both languages to my son who is now 13 months and talks all kinds of unintelligible things as well LOL but I really don't think he says more than "Hi" or "O que?" ("what" in Portuguese) so yeah, the poor thing is having to learn two languages at once and I am so NOT going to worry about him not "speaking" as soon as most other kids his age. For some reason I am A-Ok with him not saying a word until he's 4, if that means he'll be bilingual for the rest of his life. Reply
  • March 23, 2012 at 9:45 pm
    Great post, My 21mo old says 15 words but todate she doesnt call me Mom, mommy or anything but she calls her dad and also calls me dad ;). And Im with her most of the time. Reply
  • March 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm
    Love this post because we are dealing with the same thing. My kiddo is an excellent communicator but doesn't say any actual words besides MOM. But everyone is mom to her right now. The Pedi keeps trying to freak me out but I realize that every kid is different and as long as she's communicating I probably shouldn't worry. Reply
  • March 23, 2012 at 10:29 am
    i had to laugh at your cute video- my son is 14 months and sounds similar-not as talkative yet but i'm sure he'll get there! i look at it as something extra i could worry about or something i can look at as things will happen at the right pace for him. i remember how concerned i was when he wasn;t walking at 12 months...when one day it happened...at 13 months he just started walking! we moms don't need the extra worrying! annae07 at aol dot com Reply

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