When do babies start to talk?

My little baby is definitely now a toddler. Only on Sunday did he firmly tell me ‘no more!” when I was trying to get him to have some more cottage pie. And it got me thinking, when do babies start to talk? I clearly remember Tayo’s first word. In fact, it was two words. ‘eyo Sasha’. Yep, the first time he formed actual words, he was saying hello to the dog. Interestingly, Leo’s first word was ‘wawa’… You guessed it. Sasha. She’s pretty popular in our house.

Babies start ‘talking’ much sooner than when they say their first word. Their first form of communication is crying and you’ll soon notice that they start making little comforting sounds when they sleep. We tend to find that these little noises happen when they move in their sleep so everything is connected and then you might notice the moment that those two things disconnect and those little noises become more prevalent when they’re awake. The cooing phase. One of the most gorgeous sounds you’ll ever hear… Until you hear their laugh and then them tell you that they love you of course.

At around six months you might notice that the sounds become longer and that they might put a couple of sounds together and they start to babble. This is around the time that you might start to hear dada and baba and hopefully mama. You’ll find at around 12 months they might sit there and just babble to themselves. Which is ridiculously adorable.

Between 11 and 15 months or so when your baby starts to walk they might not talk as much. They can’t quite manage to walk and talk at the same time yet. So much is happening around this time. Finding their feet, a whole new world to explore and their vocabulary is really starting to expand as well. They will start to make up their own words, experimenting with the different sounds their mouths can make. Tayo recently started to make a clicking sound with his tongue and the roof of his mouth. He is particularly proud of this new noise. And then the fun really starts. They actually try to talk to you, have a conversation like their babble makes perfect sense.

Tayo will sit and ‘read’ a book now. He will open it up on his lap and point at the pictures and make up some jargon. He is 17 months and he can tell me he wants milk – ‘gil’, he wants picking up – ‘up’, that he wants Leo – ‘eeeeeooowwwww’, that he’s finished his food – ‘all gone’, that he wants water – ‘wahwa’ and now clearly, that he doesn’t want anymore!

I’m excited for the next couple of months and seeing how his speech develops. I’m excited for babble to turn into more formed words. I got reminded of a video of Leo last week when he was 20 months and he was trying to count from 1 to 10. It was fascinating to see he had the general premise of what he was trying to do but he wasn’t quite able to make the right sounds. Before I know it Tayo and I will be having full on conversations so I’m going to fully enjoy what is one of the last things that still makes him by baby. All the babble.

What were your little ones first words? Are you in the babbling stage like me? And remember, everything Ive said here isn’t gospel. Every baby is different and develops at different stages and when it comes to speech it seems the stages are broad. You can see more about what to expect from the pin below and if ever you’re worried or concerned you can always speak to your Health Visitor.

{PIN THE EXPECTATIONS}


when do babies start to talk

Becky loves her boys, her pooch and designing. She also loves chocolate digestives, probably a bit too much.
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21 Comments. Leave new

Aw Becky that’s so funny that your boys first word was Sasha. Before Fern turned one, for MONTHS she’d been saying “Doodoo” and we thought it was sweet baby babble and would repeat it back to her. Her first clearly annunciated, consistently recognisable word was “cheese”, (ha she’s her mother’s daughter). It was only when her vocabulary increased over a super-short time and we were really communicating clearly with language that we realised that “Doodoo” wasn’t some generic baby noise at all. Now we had some context in the firm of other words from her it dawned on us Doodoo was actually her word for our dog Olive. She’d been saying it for so long we couldn’t actually remember when it had started, seven? maybe even six months? No wonder we thought it was a generic noise, Olive is constantly present in her life so we didn’t make the connection! Must have been so frustrating for Fern though – these idiots don’t understand me!

Anyway now Fern is 3, Doodoo has stuck. Poor old Olive, everyone calls her that now. Somewhat confusingly while that’s her name for Olive, Fern interchanges Doodoo for ‘dog’ so that’s what she calls all dogs 🤔

She’s starting to grow out of the cute little mispronunciations of babyhood. I know you’re not supposed to but we try and perpetuate “opotus” and my favourite, “disonour” because it sounds so cute. My mum still calls gherkins “gerpins” as that’s apparently what I used to call them.

Have you found with Tayo, you’re finding it easier to understand him earlier having been through it before? A lot of my friends with children Fern’s are haveing second babies now too. Now I’ve made so many connections between her baby babble and Fern’s actual vocabulary, it’s so much more obvious to me that the noises friends babies are making are unformed words. It’s something I knew first time round but but couldn’t fully appreciate…

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Oh bless Olive! The mispronunciations are my favourite… Leo still calms his forehead his head fore 😍 and yes I do think maybe there’s something in distinguishing the babble from tayos actual ‘words’ this time around. What a lovely moment in time it all is xx

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My son is 2 and says poctopus which I find too cute to correct all the time!

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Ah Suzy I love that!x

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We’re around the same age as you. He’s 15 months but a second child which I think makes a big difference. He walked earlier than his sister and is talking more too because I guess his brain isn’t preoccupied with walking. I think his first obvious words were around 10-11 months and all the animal noises. Mainly ‘Go Jetters’ (see, second child), Daddy, his sister and then Doggo.

Now at 15 months he can say words like ‘star’, ‘purple’ and ‘car’ then ask for things like ‘milk’ and ‘more’ and will say ‘finished’ when he’s done. Most of his words surround food ‘bowl’, ‘spoon’ and ‘fork’.

However, I think it’s more important that they UNDERSTAND. So he’ll get the bricks if he’s asked to or will sit down if we say ‘down’. The actual speaking part is less important I think – babies will always develop at different rates and like you say, a walker won’t necessarily speak and visa versa. Einstein didn’t speak until he was 3 so I think these milestone charts are often used to beat parents around the head and cause unnecessary worry.

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The understanding is key isn’t it? And it’s like it just happens from nowhere… you’ve said the sane thing over and over again and then one day they just sit without you having to place them in the position. Amazing. I’m a big fan of talking about everything we do, every action… ‘put your arm in, sit on the cushion’ etc and I think speaking about every little entail really helps. Go Jetters fans here too btw 🙂

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He’s at the ‘knowing it’s wrong and doing it anyway’ stage. Waggling his finger and saying ‘no’ when he’s flicking the switches on and off. Standing up then saying ‘down’ when he’s in the bath.

I definately love this stage more than the baby stage. And he went through a really angry frustrated phase and that’s decreasing as his words increase too thank god.

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My wee one is 17 months and one of his first words was ‘go’ too. In answer to ‘ready, steady..’; shouting ‘go, go’ when the Go Jetters are on and also when Mr Tumble’s bag is sent to Justin. Off it ‘goes’!!

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We’re around the same stage as you too Becky, M is almost 16 months. She said her first word ‘Dada’ right on que for Father’s day, at around 8 months and within a day or so said Dada, Granda and Doggy. She hasn’t stopped since, she literally hears a word and repeats it, like a parrot. By one she would repeat words like dangerous and could properly pronounce over 100 words! It’s mental, at almost 16 months she now uses well over 200 words and can say up to four at a time, and count up the stairs to 13 getting almost every number right. Last night she said “Dada downstairs, Mama come too” – what the hell, it’s hard not to burst out laughing! She is our first, and I’m told I was a complete chatter box too at that age. My brother on the other hand hardly spoke at all before 3 but in terms of intellect, I’d say we’re equal (he’s maybe even a little smarter than me, maybe lol). I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m bragging about my daughter, words just seem to be her thing. xo

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My son is the same Helen, a complete chatterbox. It amazes me the wee phrases they pick up and how he can use them in the correct context. Yesterday he told me daddy wasn’t home yet because he was stuck in a traffic jam … took me a while to realise that he’d picked this up from peppa pig!

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Not bragging Helen you’re just super proud and I can feel it coming streaming out of your words 🙂 Love a little chatter box and she sounds like she’s keeping you right on your toes 🙂

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I love hearing them chat! My little girl is just 2, says quite a lot that’s recognisable, more that’s just noise but has the intonation of words. Amazing how much they do understand. We made the decision to send her to welsh medium Nursery with long term plan to go to welsh medium school (no one in the family speaks welsh!). I think this has delayed her speech slightly as she has to process 2 languages but in her babble we’ve begun to hear welsh sounds and have actually had 2 welsh words…water and cake! But she understands everything at Nursery too which is just amazing!

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I would LOVE Leo to speak a second language. I;m considering learning one myself so that we can all practice at home… Just the little factor of having no time for anything to get past 😉 x

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Lottie has just turned fifteen months and it’s becoming more obvious there is intention behind the sounds if that makes sense? With my son Freddie it seemed he spoke earlier or at least we were certain he was saying an actual word rather than babble. His first word word was “shoe” and he was walking so he went and picked his shoes up while saying the word so we knew he knew what he was saying, if that makes sense?

With Lottie her words are all quite similar so my husband thinks we’re interpreting rather than she’s saying them. We’re pretty sure though she’s now saying hello, cuddle and of course daddy! She’s responding to requests too so her understanding is there. The cutest thing is asking for a kiss, she does a proper pout and goes “mmmm” I think because that’s what we were doing to encourage her!! She’s also just started taking her first steps so lots of development going on. I find it fascinating but tinged with a bit of sadness, she’s not really a baby anymore.

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Oh the kisses Agnes! Tayo blows a kiss with such enthusiasm :)You’ve just reminded me of when Tayo first said socks. They were out ready to be put on for the day and he walked over to them, picked them up and just said it! They’re little sponges aren’t they x

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Aw I love hearing all their words for things! My little boy’s first word was cat, pronounced hat because of his love for our cat. Then everthing became hat! He’s 20 months now and repeats any word you give him- this week he’s been going around saying anteater of all words! (He saw one in a book, it’s not on our regular list along with pig, cow etc!) X

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Haha! Love this Lucy. Love the thought of him walking around with anteater on repeat 🙂

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It’s so funny the compare and contrast thing with second one- Mr Paddy at ten months is definitely desperate to talk but I’m sure he’s not as verbal as his sister- he seems to slur two or three words together in his babble so you get “heyaverdeeerrr” which is accompanied by pointing and seems to mean hey, over there! She has always had very clear diction and loves new words- she keeps bringing out “fascinating” at the moment which is very fun. I worry that he hasn’t had the same intense input of songs and reading- feel guilty as he isn’t interested in her books and she is bored stupid by his so end up doing more of hers.

I tried so hard to keep a bit of Italian going for Silvia. But the only word she now uses is “cinghiale” or wild boar. If we read our Italian books or I speak to her I get told to “speak properly Mummy” which is depressing!

Becky Tuesdays ftw- that graphic is great as per too 😘

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Our boy is 20 months and is taking it easy when it comes to talking. By 9-10 months he still wasn’t really making the noises the HV expected at his check-up but he just seems to be a bit ‘behind’ the ‘norm’. He says the odd word now, but mostly has to be prompted aside from ‘hiya’. He understands sooo much though. He is much, much stronger at understanding. He seems to take everything in. I know he will get there in his own time. And apparently as a toddler his dad would hold back from stuff until he was perfect at it (didn’t pick up a crayon until he was three and then coloured in a picture beautifuly).

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My 2 year old is (I’m convinced!) a linguistic genius…. He sings ‘yellow submarine’ and ‘hey jude’ virtually start to finish. Get some funny looks in the cheese aisle! Little old ladies love him…. We’re finding toddler development fascinating here! Plus love the mispronounced words. Missing them as they disappear!! ‘Good i-dy-a’ is now ‘good idea’. Sad….

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