When do babies start talking

When Do Babies Start Talking: Important Milestones, Plus 10 Ways To Encourage Talking

If you’re a new mom wondering when your baby will begin to talk, you’ve come to the right place! I was in your shoes before, I remember when my 6 month old said “dada” for the first time and “mama” at 7 months. Soon after I expected more and more words to begin to flow, and was eager to hear more.

As parents, we eagerly wait for our little ones to say their first words, which undoubtedly marks a significant milestone in their lives. However, many parents aren’t quite sure when babies begin to talk, and don’t know what to expect. In this blog post, we will explore the factors that influence when babies start talking and what you can do to help and encourage them along the way.

Most babies start talking between 12-18 months of age, although some may start saying words and sounds as early as 7 or 9 months. However, every baby is different and will develop at their own rate.

Being vocal with your baby and encouraging language in everyday activities can help them learn to talk faster.

Whether your baby has already spoken a first word, or hasn’t begin to put words and sounds together yet, continue reading, because this blog will help you understand, when mosts babies start talking and what to do if your baby is show signs of late talking.

When Do Babies Start Talking

One of the most exciting milestones all new parents look forward to is when their babies start talking. But when does this usually happen? Many parents may be surprised to learn while 12 months is common, the age at which babies start talking can vary widely. Just like walking or any other milestone. While some babies may start speaking their first words at around six months old, others may take up to a year or more to start speaking.

It’s important for parents to remember that all babies develop at their own pace, and that there’s no set timeline for when a baby will start speaking. So whether your baby is an early talker or a late bloomer, just remember to enjoy each new step in their journey and always be there to support them. With that being said, let’s dive deeper into the factors that play apart in when babies start talking.

How Age Affects When Babies Start Talking

The first and most obvious factor that determines when babies start talking is their age. Typically, babies start talking between the ages of 10 and 14 months. That typically sounds like simple words with one or two syllables, that help them communicate who or what they want, or see. Typical first words to look out for are “mama”, “dada”, “ba-ba”, “hi”, “no”, “night night”, “milk”, and “more”. This will depend on your everyday routines and activities.

How Genetics Affect When Babies Start Talking

Genetics can also play a role in a baby’s ability to start talking. While we cannot control the genetic factors at play, we can strive towards creating a conducive environment for our children to express themselves. Parents can establish communication with their babies by responding to cues like facial expressions, gestures, and vocalizations. Give your child the attention they deserve and try to engage them in activities that improve communication like reading books, singing songs, pretend play, and sign-language.

How Environment Affects When Babies Start Talking

Another factor that comes into play is the child’s environment. Environments that stimulate language and communication development will likely encourage language development in children. This is why many people believe siblings play a part in when babies start talking. It’s not so much that your baby will speak sooner if they have a sibling, but the fact is that they may speak sooner if they hear more words and are verbally communicated with more often.

This is something I had to learn when my 1 year old was showing signs of speech delay. We noticed he had been saying the same 5 words for 6 months straight, without progressing, and even began to speak less. This was because we led a quiet 2 parent household and normally performed daily tasks without speaking.

Giving your child experiences that enhances their exposure to new words and interactions will undoubtedly help in their speech development. Research shows that children learn language best when they are directly spoken to. Therefore, making a conscious effort to engage your child by speaking to them politely and using proper grammar will go a long way regarding speech development.

For example, using one word phrases to describe what you’re doing. If you’re giving your baby a bath saying “bath repeatedly will teach your baby that word. Or saying “ball” repeatedly when rolling a ball for instance. These are examples of engaging your baby in direct communication.

Physical Factors That Affect When Babies Start Talking

Apart from the environment, physical factors such as hearing impairments, and muscle control can also affect language development. Therefore, it’s essential to have your baby’s hearing checked regularly, and attention wellness exams to ensure they do not have any impairments. If there is a hearing issue, early detection and treatment can be crucial in promoting proper language development.

All Babies Are Unique

It’s worth noting again, that each baby’s development is different, and the progress of their language development will vary. Therefore, it’s essential for parents to pay attention to their child’s milestones instead of comparing them to others. Some children may begin talking early, while others may take a bit more time, and that’s completely fine.

What Can Parents Do To Encourage Language Development

Parents have an important role to play in their baby’s language development. As mentioned, speaking directly to your child will help them pick up new words and develop proper speech patterns. It can also be a great idea to sing songs or nursery rhymes with your baby and encourage them to repeat the words. They may not say the words correctly yet, but this is a great exercise to help them learn.

Using positive reinforcement and praising your baby when they say something correctly will also help. Showing them that speaking is rewarding and fun can be incredibly beneficial in encouraging language development further. Similarly, using colorful visuals such as books or pictures of objects on walls can help children associate words with an object.

10 Ways To Encourage Your Baby to Start Talking

1. Read stories with the baby often.

2. Make time for conversations with your child every day, and respond to their vocalizations.

3. Use facial expressions or sign-language when talking to your baby as it helps them understand what you are saying better.

4. Show pictures of objects and say the name out loud.

5. Sing songs and nursery rhymes with your baby.

6. Talk about what you are doing, for instance when you put on their shoes say “I’m putting on your shoes” or when cooking, say the name of the ingredients out loud.

7. Encourage pointing to objects and answering questions related to them.

8. Play games that involve naming objects or animals.

9. Expressive play such as dressing up dolls, cooking play food, or playing with toys will help your baby associate words with the object or activity.

10. Provide positive reinforcement when your child says something correctly and give them lots of praise!

What Words Do Babies Say First

The most common first words that babies say are usually one-two syllable words, such as mama, dada, ba-ba, and no. These words are typically easier for babies to say because of their small mouths and undeveloped muscles. As they continue growing and developing language skills, they may start speaking phrases and sentences as well.

How Many Words Should A 1 Year Old Say?

At one year old, babies should be able to understand basic instructions such as “no,” and say about 10-15 words. This number can vary depending on the child, but they should have a consistent vocabulary increase month by month. Overall, it’s important to remember that every baby develops differently and there is no set timeline for when your baby will speak.

The best thing you can do is provide your baby with a stimulating environment and encourage language development as much as possible.

How Many Words Should a 2 Year Old Say?

At two years old, most toddlers should be able to say between 50-100 words. They should also understand more complex phrases and follow simple instructions such as “pick up the toy” or “give me a hug.” Additionally, they may start forming simple sentences and use a wider range of vocabulary.

What To Do If My Baby Is A Late Talker

If your baby is a late talker, it’s important not to panic! There are many steps you can take to help them catch up.

Firstly, ensure that you are giving your baby plenty of opportunities to learn and interact with language. Speak directly to them often and use simple phrases when communicating.

Secondly, provide visual aids such as books or pictures of objects on walls that your baby can look at and associate words with.

Finally, visit a doctor or reach out to a speech therapist who may be able to assess your baby’s development and suggest strategies to help them learn.

To learn more about late-talkers and toddler speech delays visit, “Is My Toddler Speech Delayed: What Is Toddler Speech Delay? Signs, Causes and Interventions” and “Does My Toddler Need Speech Therapy and Is It Worth It?“, for a more in-depth and helpful overview on what to do.


In conclusion, when babies begin to talk varies depending on multiple factors. As a parent, you should note the different factors influencing your child’s language development.

Overall, language development is an important part of a baby’s growth and it’s essential for parents to provide their children with the right environment to help them learn and grow.

Create a conducive environment, engage your baby through communication and activities like reading and music, and have their hearing regularly checked.

By speaking directly to your baby, giving them ample opportunities to learn, and providing visual aids if necessary, you can encourage language development in babies from a young age.

Remember that all babies develop differently and don’t be discouraged if your baby is a late talker, as there are many steps you can take to help them catch up.

Most importantly, take it easy and enjoy watching your child grow and develop. With patience and perseverance, your child will undoubtedly start talking and surprise you with their first words.

For more information on language development in babies, check out our helpful resources below!

Thanks for reading!

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