As a parent, you undoubtedly want to give your baby the best possible start in life. One of the best ways to do that is to ensure they develop strong language skills. But when do babies start talking? While there is no single answer, there are milestones in language development that you should be aware of. In this article, we’ll discuss when babies start talking and how to encourage their language development. Keep reading to learn more!

Overview of Language Development in Babies

Wondering when your little one will begin to express themselves? Find out what language development in infants looks like! From the moment they are born, babies are using their listening skills to pick up on the sounds and pronunciations of the language they will eventually speak. As they grow, they become increasingly more aware of the sounds in their environment and will begin to practice pronunciation. It’s common for babies to begin making babbling noises as early as 2 months old. This is the first step in language development, as they are learning to imitate the speech around them.

By around 6 months old, babies will begin to recognize and respond to familiar sounds, like the sound of their name. They will also start to understand simple commands and may even be able to respond to them. As their language continues to develop, they may start to form words and begin speaking in short sentences. By the time they reach the age of 1, most babies will have a growing vocabulary of words they can say.

At first, babies will likely be hard to understand, as they may pronounce words differently than adults. However, this is all part of the learning process, as they continue to practice their speech. As they grow, they will become more and more confident in their language ability and will eventually begin to talk like a pro!

When Do Babies Start Talking?

You may be curious to learn when your little one begins to express themselves verbally. It can be a thrilling experience when your baby begins to string together their first words, but typically it won’t happen until around 12 months old. However, babies begin to understand language long before that. As early as six months, your baby will start to respond to their name and other simple words. By nine months, they can usually comprehend many words, such as “no” and “bye-bye.” They can even begin to use baby sign language as a way to communicate with you, which is a fun way to engage with them before they are able to talk.

By the time they reach 12 months, your baby should be able to say a few words, such as “mama” or “dada.” They may even be able to put words together, such as “more milk.” They can also recognize and follow simple instructions, such as “give it to me” or “come here.” As your baby continues to grow, their language skills will develop as well, and you will start to understand more of what they are saying.

Age Range (Months)Percentage of Babies

It is important to remember that every baby is different, and their language development will vary. While some babies may start talking at 12 months, others may take a bit longer. Encourage your little one to learn by introducing them to new words and engaging in conversations with them. With some patience and dedication, your baby will soon be speaking in no time.

Milestones in Language Development

Gain a better understanding of your baby’s language development by learning about the different milestones they will reach in their journey to becoming a fluent speaker. As a parent, you can expect the following:

  • Baby babbling at 4-6 months.
  • Understanding simple words at 6-9 months.
  • Producing first words at 10-15 months.

Your baby’s language development will begin the moment they enter the world! From the very start, you’ll notice your baby’s ability to recognize and respond to certain language cues. As they grow, you’ll hear them babbling more and more as they get closer to their first words. Even when your baby isn’t speaking, they are taking in and processing language all around them to help them learn to understand and eventually speak.

By the time your baby is 15 months old, they will likely have a few words they can say and understand. While all babies are different and progress at their own pace, you can use the milestones above as a general guideline to help you track your baby’s language development. As they progress, be sure to keep talking to and reading to your baby. This will help them learn more words and become a more confident speaker.

Development of Vocabulary

As your little one grows, you’ll be amazed at their ever-expanding vocabulary! Even before they can say their first words, they will be able to communicate with you through babbling, and you can encourage this development by responding to their attempts to communicate. You can also help their development by teaching them sign language, which can help them express themselves before they are able to form words.

Using Sign LanguageFostering ConversationEncouraging Babbling
Teach baby sign languageTalk with your babyRespond to baby’s babbling
Show baby sign during conversationsNarrate what you are doingSing and read to your baby
Use sign when giving directionsAsk questionsRepeat words and sounds your baby makes

You can also foster conversation with your baby by talking with them throughout the day, narrating what you are doing and asking questions. Encouraging babbling is another way to help your baby’s language development, and you can do this by responding to their babbles, singing and reading to them, and repeating words and sounds they make. As your baby develops, you will be amazed at how quickly they learn words and start to put them together into sentences.

Encouraging Language Development in Babies

Encouraging language development in babies is essential for their growth, and can be aided through sign language, meaningful conversations, and responding to babbling. Sign language is a great way to support a baby’s language development by teaching them basic words and phrases. By making use of simple hand motions and facial expressions, you can help your baby understand and express themselves. Additionally, meaningful conversations with babies can help improve their communication skills. This helps them develop speech sounds and understand the language better. It’s also important to respond to their babbling. Even if they may not be talking yet, babbling is an important part of their development and responding to it will help them learn.

Introducing books to young children is another great way to encourage language development. Reading together helps babies learn new words and concepts, while also teaching them how to properly use them. You can also use everyday objects to create teachable moments. Pointing out objects and using their names will allow them to learn the words and how they are used. Moreover, exposing babies to music can help them understand different rhythms and tones and aid in language development.

It’s important to remember that babies learn at different rates and some may start talking earlier than others. However, by providing an environment that encourages language development, you can help your baby build their communication skills. Through sign language, meaningful conversations, and responding to babbling, you can help your baby develop their language and become a confident communicator.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do babies understand language before they start speaking?

It’s amazing how quickly babies learn language! By the time they are 3 months old, babies start to recognize the sound of their parents’ voices and turn their attention towards the source of the sound. As they develop, babies will begin to understand language before they start to talk. By the time they reach the age of 1, infants can understand nearly 50 words and can respond to simple commands. As language development progresses, babies will reach speech milestones such as babbling and saying their first words. This early communication is an important part of a baby’s development, so it’s essential to encourage your baby’s speech. With patience and plenty of positive reinforcement, you can help your baby reach their language development milestones.

How can I tell if my baby is having difficulty with language development?

If you’re concerned about your baby’s language development, there are some things you can do to promote their speech and encourage communication. Start by talking to your baby often, using simple words and short phrases. You can also point to objects and name them for your baby, or read books together. Singing and playing interactive games with your baby can also help them to learn and develop their language. If you have any further concerns, speak to your healthcare provider.

What activities can I do to help my baby learn language?

You can help your baby learn language through activities such as language games and encouraging sounds. Language games are a great way to introduce your baby to the sounds of language. Try reciting rhymes, singing songs, or making up silly stories. You can also encourage your baby to make sounds by responding to their vocalizations. Talk to your baby often, pointing out objects and people in their environment and narrating your own activities. By doing this, you are helping your baby understand how language works and giving them the opportunity to practice.

How can I tell if my baby is bilingual or multilingual?

As a parent, it’s exciting to think about the possibility of your baby developing multilingual skills. To determine if your baby is bilingual or multilingual, watch for language milestones and look out for signs that your baby is responding to more than one language. Some of the benefits to having a multilingual baby include improved cognitive development, increased problem-solving skills, and being able to communicate with a wider range of people. With the right guidance and support, you can help your baby become a confident speaker of multiple languages.

At what age should I be concerned if my baby has not started talking?

It’s natural to worry if your baby hasn’t started talking yet, but it’s important to remember that all babies develop differently. Generally, if your baby has not started talking by 20 months, it’s time to look into the possibility of speech therapy. At this age, babies should be able to understand simple verbal commands and begin to use a few words. However, if your baby has not reached this developmental milestone, it’s important to speak to your doctor or a speech therapist about your concerns. They will be able to provide you with strategies and resources to help your baby learn to express themselves.


You’ve probably heard that every baby is different, and that’s certainly true when it comes to language development. While some babies start talking as early as 6 months, others may not start speaking until they’re a year or older. The important thing is to help your baby along the way by talking to them, reading books, and responding to their babbles. With your help, your baby’s language development will progress in no time! So don’t worry if your baby’s development isn’t on the same timeline as other babies; just keep encouraging and engaging them in conversation and they’ll be talking up a storm in no time.

About Author

Jaimie is a mother of two lovely children, aged 3 months and 3 years, who resides in the beautiful city of Brisbane. She cherishes spending quality time with her family and thoroughly enjoys the joys and challenges of motherhood. Jaimie's life revolves around her little ones, and she takes pride in being an involved and caring mom.