When will my baby talk?  Health Gavel™

When will my baby talk? Health Gavel™

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Having a baby is one of the most exciting events that can happen in your lifetime. Once your child is born, you wait eagerly for them to reach each developmental milestone, with the hopes that on the very day they are supposed to master a skill, they do so perfectly. Although there are specific, concrete times as to when a child is supposed to master their language, it is important for parents and educators to understand that in actuality these “times” are more of a “guideline”.

Instead of focusing on a specific date or time, familiarize yourself with the “critical periods” of language development. These critical periods are periods of time where the developing brain is best able to absorb language. This “period” of time is usually a range of weeks or even months. If you child is functioning on the latter end of this developmental timetable, do not automatically assume that something is wrong.

Crying is the very first sign of a child’s ability to communicate and this is usually seen within the first few days of their life. By 6-8 months research has shown that infants can usually produce repetitive syllables such as “da da da” and “ba ba ba”. It is these very syllables that are the foundation for which children build their language upon.

Many parents are under the assumption that by the time their child turns 1, they should be able to effectively articulate new words. In reality, it is not until around 18 months that the child will have mastered a few simple words. The real influx of vocabulary and simple word combinations do not generally appear until around 24-30 months.

Again, each child develops at their own rate, so for some children these skills may appear much earlier and for some not until much later. While the developmental time frame differs from child to child, the milestones tend to remain the same. It is more concerning if a child misses a milestone than the actual time they achieve it.

If you have any concerns about your child’s speech or language development, talk to your pediatrician or speech language pathologist. Additionally, you can access more information, as well as a developmental checklist, by visiting the site www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/speechandlanguage.asp and www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/speechandlanguage.asp#mychild.

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